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Tulsi Gabbard announces she's leaving the Democratic Party

The former congresswoman said the party is "now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness."
Tulsi Gabbard speaks during at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Tulsi Gabbard at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 25.Tristan Wheelock / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii announced Tuesday that she's leaving the Democratic Party because it's "now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness."

In a video statement posted on social media, Gabbard, 41, accused Democrats of dividing the country "by racializing every issue, stoking anti-white racism" and "actively working to undermine our God-given freedoms enshrined in our Constitution."

"The Democrats of today are hostile to people of faith and spirituality," she continued. "They demonize the police and protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans. The Democrats of today believe in open borders and weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents. Above all else, the Democrats of today are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war."

Gabbard said the Democratic Party stands for a government of, by and for the "powerful elite," and she called on her fellow "independent-minded Democrats" to leave the party, as well.

Her comments aligned much more with the views held by Republican elected officials, who have blamed Democrats for a rise in crime and for a surge of migrants entering the country at the Mexican border.

Although Gabbard ran for the Democratic nomination for president in the 2020 cycle, she has often questioned where the party has stood on various issues and criticized Democratic leaders.

Before Gabbard launched her campaign, Hillary Clinton, the party's 2016 presidential nominee, suggested in 2019 that she believed Republicans were grooming her to run as a third-party candidate. Clinton, who didn't mention Gabbard by name, said she believed one candidate was "the favorite of the Russians." 

Gabbard suspended her presidential campaign in March 2020 and endorsed Joe Biden. She served in the House from 2013 to 2021 and as the vice chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2013 to 2016. She is a combat veteran with deployments to the Middle East and Africa and is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve.

Since her White House run, Gabbard has frequently appeared as a political commentator on Fox News, where she has mostly railed against Democrats.