Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) announced Thursday that she will suspend her presidential campaign and endorse former Vice President Joe Biden to take on President Donald Trump in November’s general election.
Gabbard made the announcement in a video message posted on Twitter.
In the announcement, the 38-year-old House member said that her decision was motivated by the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus — formally known as COVID-19 — as well as the primary election results from earlier this week.
“After Tuesday’s election, it’s clear that Democratic Primary voters have chosen Vice President Joe Biden to be the person who will take on President Trump in the general election,” Gabbard said.
On Tuesday, Democratic primary voters sided with Biden over rival presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in primary contests in Illinois, Florida, and Arizona.
“Although I may not agree with the Vice President on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and is motivated by his love for our country and the American people,” Gabbard said. “I’m confident that he will lead our country guided by the spirit of aloha — respect and compassion — and thus help heal the divisiveness that has been tearing our country apart.”
In suspending her campaign, Gabbard said that she would give her “full support” to Biden “in his quest to bring our country together.”
At the same time, Gabbard sent her “best wishes to my friends Sen. Bernie Sanders, his wife Jane, Nina Turner, and their many supporters for the work they’ve done.” She also praised the senator’s “love for our country and the American people and his sincere desire to improve the lives of all Americans.”
In regard to the ongoing viral spread, the House member said “the best way that I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and wellbeing of the people of Hawaii and our country in Congress, and to stand ready to serve in uniform should the Hawaii National Guard be activated.”
Gabbard added that now “is not the first time we have faced adversity together, and it will not be the last.” She added that “as Americans and all of humanity, we face a common enemy” and urged people to “stand together once again, and work hand in hand to defeat this new enemy — the coronavirus.”
Gabbard announced her candidacy in January 2019 but failed to generate widespread support among Democratic primary voters despite staying in after other candidates had dropped out. At the time of her announcement, she had won no Democratic primary elections in 2020 and only earned convention delegates in American Samoa on Super Tuesday earlier this month. Her RealClear national polling average on Thursday stood at 3.3% in comparison to Biden’s 55.8% and Sanders’ 35%.