'I wish her well, though': Sen. Mazie Hirono signals she will not endorse fellow Hawaiian and Democrat Tulsi Gabbard in her bid for president
- Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is running for president in 2020.
- As of Monday, it seems Gabbard will be running without the endorsement of her fellow Hawaiian and Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono.
- Hirono in an interview with MSNBC said she'd be looking to endorse someone "who has a long record of supporting progressive goals."
- Gabbard is already coming under fire for her stances and past statements on several topics including foreign policy and LGBTQ rights.
Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono on Monday signaled she'll not be backing fellow Hawaiian and Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in her bid for president.
This seems to be motivated by some of the criticism surrounding Gabbard's stances and rhetoric on issues like foreign policy and LGBTQ rights, which have at times put her at odds with the political left.
Hirono in an interview with MSNBC said she'd be looking to endorse someone "who has a long record of supporting progressive goals."
"I certainly wish all of our candidates the best because it is going to be a long, hard race, and so I wish everyone well, but for myself in these times of what I would call not normal times, I want someone who has very much been on the page in terms of supporting equal opportunity, choice, all of the kinds of issues that I've been fighting for for decades," Hirono added. "I wish her well, though, as I do all of the other candidates."
Gabbard's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.
The Hawaii congresswoman made her presidential ambitions public late last week.
Gabbard is a paradoxical figure for progressives.
She gained popularity among many on the left in 2016 when she resigned as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for president. Gabbard was later endorsed by the Sanders-linked grassroots political organization Our Revolution in her 2018 reelection bid, which seemed to be payback for her support in the 2016 election.
But Gabbard has also angered cohorts of progressives at times, such as when she made accused war criminal Syrian Bashar al-Assad in early 2017. Later that year, she expressed skepticism Assad used chemical weapons against civilians, sparking outrage across partisan lines.
Gabbard has also been accused of homophobia, and on Monday apologized for touting past work she did for an anti-gay group that condoned conversion therapy.
"I regret the positions I took in the past, and the things I said," Gabbard said in a statement. "I'm grateful for those in the LGBTQ+ community who have shared their aloha with me throughout my personal journey."
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