ROCHESTER, Minn. — Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, whose campaign has attracted little support from fellow members of Congress, picked up a high-profile endorsement Sunday from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
Gabbard announced that she is is stepping down as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee to support the White House bid of the senator from Vermont over that of Hillary Clinton.
Gabbard, who made the announcement on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” has cut a video for the Sanders campaign in which she explains her reasoning, citing her status as one of the first female combat veterans in Congress.
“As a veteran of two Middle East deployments, I know firsthand the cost of war,” Gabbard says. “I know how important it is that our commander in chief has the sound judgment required … to know when to use America's military power and when not to use that power. As vice chairman of the DNC, I am required to stay neutral in Democratic primaries, but I cannot remain neutral any longer. The stakes are too high. That’s why today … I’m endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders to be the next president and commander in chief of the United States.”
Gabbard becomes just the fourth member of Congress to endorse Sanders, who was trounced Saturday in the South Carolina primary by Clinton and faces a real test of his candidacy's staying power on Tuesday, when 11 other states hold primaries and caucuses.