The 2020 presidential elections are less than two years away, and it seems that there are plenty of Democratic candidates ready and waiting to take on incumbent President Donald Trump come November next year. Senator Elizabeth Warren has already started making moves towards a presidential run, and former Representative Beto O’Rourke has been toying with the idea ever since he lost the race for the Texas senate seat to Ted Cruz.
On Friday, another Democrat announced their candidacy: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. The 37-year-old Iraqi war veteran is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the moment, and also makes history as the first American Samoan and Hindu member of Congress, according to CNN Politics.
An episode of The Van Jones Show is set to air on Saturday night, and it is during this episode that Gabbard speaks about her candidacy for president.
“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” she says on the show, adding, “There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I’m concerned about and that I want to help solve.”
— CNN (@CNN) January 11, 2019
She also lists a number of the issues she believes are most important to deal with for the American people, and presumably these are things she will focus on during her campaign and her presidency, should she win. Gabbard listed her key platform issues as “health care access, criminal justice reform, and climate change,” and also mentioned “war and peace” as an issue that is “central to the rest.”
“I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Gabbard was a strong supporter of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who lost the primaries to Hillary Clinton.
Gabbard has also caused a great deal of controversy during her political career. Back in 2017, she met with Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad. Two years ago, she explained her decision to meet with him, which seems to have much to do with her key platform issue of war and peace.
“Initially, I hadn’t planned on meeting him. When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace, and that’s exactly what we talked about.”
It’s still a while before the elections next year, giving other high-profile Democrats the chance to throw their hats in the ring for the Oval Office. Trump has already said he will be running for reelection next year.