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2020 Presidential Race Launches with Candidacy of Two Senior Democratic Politicians
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2020 Presidential Race Launches with Candidacy of Two Senior Democratic Politicians

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USA – January 13, 2019

Two senior Democratic politicians have announced that they will fight for the presidency in 2020.

Former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro launched his campaign on Saturday, a day after news emerged that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) would also announce a bid.

On Friday, Hawaii Congresswoman Gabbard told CNN's Van Jones she has decided to run for president in 2020 and will make a formal announcement within the next week.

In an interview due to air on CNN on Saturday evening, she says: "There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve."

“The issue of war and peace” would be the main focus of her campaign, Rep. Gabbard said.

A native of American Samoa and an Iraq veteran, Ms Gabbard, 37, is seen as an outspoken figure on the left of the party.

In 2017, she caused controversy by announcing that she had met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a trip to the country.

“The wake up call, for most of us, came when Gabbard met with Trump soon after his inauguration and then with Assad, instead of marching on DC with us and the rest of the Hawaii’s congressional delegation during the Women’s March in protest of what has become an unprecedented abolition of human and civil rights in America,” said Sherry Alu Campagna, who was among Gabbard’s most well-known primary challengers, according to The Guardian.

Tulsi Gabbard is known for her firm position against aggressive US foreign policy, criticizing war in Syria and the supply of arms to Saudi Arabia.

“We must end US arms sales to Saudi Arabia. SA is carrying out a genocide of the Yemeni people using our planes, our bombs, our technicians and pilots that we trained. Air strikes have killed over 4,600 civilians. Starvation and cholera from blockades have killed thousands more,“ she said on Twitter. “SA is not our ally and Yemen is not our enemy. Our profit is blood money. End this tragedy.”

“We need to get our troops out of Syria ASAP, but it must be done responsibly,” Gabbard wrote on Twitter on Dec. 20.

In April 2017, Tulsi Gabbard said she's "skeptical" that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Gabbard if she didn't believe the President, the Secretary of State and Pentagon officials, all of whom came to the same “conclusion”, that Bashar al-Assad was responsible. Gabbard mentioned the previous invasion of Iraq, and the intelligence that suggested Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be false. "So, yes, I'm skeptical," she said.

Gabbard said: "Why should we just blindly follow this escalation of a counterproductive regime-change war?"

Blitzer mentioned that the US military also shared an image of a radar track of a Syrian airplane from the Shayrat airfield flying to the purported chemical strike area. 

"Congress and the American people need to see and analyze this evidence and then make a decision based on that," Gabbard replied.

"I have not seen that independent investigation occur and that proof presented showing exactly what happened and there are a number of theories of exactly what happened that day," the Hawaii congresswoman continued.

Blitzer asked: "Don't you believe Bashar al-Assad bears any responsibility for the horrific deaths that have occurred in his own country?"

"There's responsibility that goes around," Gabbard said, "Standing here pointing fingers does not accomplish peace for the Syrian people. It will not bring about an end to this war."

Both Castro and Gabbard enter what could be a crowded field of Democrats vying to challenge President Donald Trump. Castro is expected to be the only Latino in the race, and Gabbard is the first Hindu member of Congress.

Castro made his announcement in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, where he was mayor from 2009 to 2014.

Aged 44 and long seen as a rising star in the party, he served as Housing Secretary under President Obama and was on the list of Hillary Clinton's potential running mates for the 2016 election.

As a third-generation Mexican-American, he has used his background to criticize Trump's calls to build a wall to keep out migrants from Latin America. Launching his bid under the slogan "One nation, one destiny", Castro said: "We say no to the construction of the wall and yes to the construction of communities."

Julian Castro has a twin brother Joaquin Castro, who has served in the United States House of Representatives for Texas's 20th congressional district since 2013.

Until now, only former congressman John Delaney has formally launched a campaign, more than a year ago. However, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced last month she was setting up an exploratory committee to consider a run.

Now, however, Castro may not even end up the most popular Texan in the race, if former congressman Robert Francis (Beto) O'Rourke decides to run.

In December, Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said that Dem. Congressman O'Rourke would be a formidable candidate for president in 2020, USA Really reported. Congressman O'Rourke has not yet announced his intentions for 2020.

Moreover, there are other politicians who are generating more presidential buzz - ones currently holding elective office or, like former Vice-President Joe Biden, who will be 78 in 2020, with instant name recognition.

If Biden decides to enter the Democratic race for president in 2020 he will do so in a field that includes politicians and perhaps some unconventional Democratic candidates. Here are some of the names most often mentioned.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH
  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI
  • Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro
  • Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas
  • Former Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
  • Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

 

Author: USA Really