Tulsi Gabbard Resigns from DNC to Back Bernie Sanders

Gabbard said Sanders knew "how and when we use our military power — and just as importantly, when we don't use that military power." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced on "Meet the Press"   on Sunday that she was stepping down as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and endorsing Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders for president.  

"As a veteran, as a soldier, I've seen firsthand the true cost of war," Gabbard said. "As we look at our choices as to who our next commander-in-chief will be is to recognize the necessity to have a commander-in-chief who has foresight. Who exercises good judgment. Who looks beyond the consequences. Who looks at the consequences of the actions that they are willing to take before they take those actions. So that we don't continue to find ourselves in these failures that have resulted in chaos in the Middle East and so much loss of life," Gabbard said.  

When pressed by moderator Chuck Todd about previous statements she's made about a president needing a "military mindset," Gabbard said Sanders has such a mindset. That means, she said, analyzing "how and when we use our military power — and just as importantly, when we don't use that military power."  

Sanders, campaigning in Minnesota on Sunday, called Gabbard "one of the important voices of a new generation of leaders" in a statement. "As a veteran of the Iraq War, she understands the cost of war and is fighting to create a foreign policy that not only protects America but keeps us out of perpetual wars that we should not be in."  

After calling for more Democratic debates, Gabbard said she was disinvited from the first Democratic primary debate in Nevada last year — a characterization the DNC disputed. “When I signed up to be vice chair of the DNC., no one told me I would be relinquishing my freedom of speech and checking it at the door," Gabbard said at the time.

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