Election 2020
Portrait of Tulsi Gabbard
Portrait of Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard

Democratic candidate

Gabbard, a member of Congress since 2013 and a veteran of the Iraq War, has been a voice for her party’s left on domestic issues and a critic of foreign military intervention. Gabbard, now 38, was the youngest person ever elected to the Hawaii legislature before heading to the U.S. House, becoming the first Hindu woman to serve in the chamber. She backed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president in 2016 and resigned from a post with the Democratic National Committee to fully support him. Her approach stands out in the field, as she has criticized President Barack Obama for not using the term “Islamic” in condemning terrorism and has played down special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In depth

‘A different type of vibe’: What does Tulsi Gabbard’s 2020 run say about America?: A candidate who doesn’t fit into long-standing categories.

Amy B Wang | July 28, 2019 | 8 minutes

Climate change

Gabbard says she supports the carbon neutrality goals of the Green New Deal but did not co-sponsor it in the House. She said she does not support “‘leaving the door open to nuclear power unless and until there is a permanent solution to the problem of nuclear waste.” She thinks the United States should rejoin the Paris climate agreement and take the lead on reducing carbon emissions. Gabbard does not think the United States should institute a carbon tax.

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Economic inequality

Citing the uncertainty created by automation, Gabbard said she supports a universal basic income, in which the government would provide a monthly check to every adult American. She does not support a jobs guarantee. She has sponsored a bill in the House to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

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Education

Gabbard co-sponsored the College for All Act, which would make four-year college free for middle-class and lower-income families and community college free for all students and would lower student loan interest rates. She also co-sponsored legislation that would incentivize businesses to help employees pay off their student loans.

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Foreign policy

Gabbard, who met secretly with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2017, said she would reopen diplomatic relations with the country. She also said she would meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. She said that if she is elected, no Americans would be fighting in Afghanistan by the end of her first year in office. “I will end wasteful regime change wars that cost taxpayers billions of dollars every month & work to end the new cold war & arms race,” she said in a statement to The Washington Post.

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Government

Gabbard said she is open to eliminating the electoral college, saying that “there are pros and cons to the existing electoral college and to getting rid of it.” She co-sponsored automatic voter registration legislation. She supports restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated people and lowering the voting age to 16.

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Health care

Gabbard is a co-sponsor of the Medicare-for-All Act but does not favor the elimination of private insurance. She’s also a co-sponsor of legislation that would give the government the ability to negotiate drug prices and would allow drug importation. She supports having the federal government produce and sell generic drugs to lower drug prices.

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Immigration

After the government shutdown in January, Gabbard called the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border “unnecessary”; she said she does support increased funding for border security. Although she expressed skepticism about decriminalizing border crossings, she said that “we can and should have both secure borders as well as humane immigration policies.” She says legislation to protect dreamers should be passed.

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Who agrees with you?

Answer some of the policy questions that the candidates did and see which candidates your answers align with.

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