Tulsi Gabbard leaves Democratic Party, calling it an ‘elitist cabal’

Tulsi Gabbard is standing and talking in front of the U.S. flag
Tulsi Gabbard, former congresswoman from Hawaii, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 25.
(Tristan Wheelock / Bloomberg)

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii announced on Tuesday she is leaving the Democratic Party, saying it is under “complete control of an elitist cabal” and urging “fellow common sense independent-minded Democrats” to leave the party with her.

“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism,” Gabbard said in a video posted on Twitter.

She alleged the Democratic Party is “actively undermining our God-given freedoms,” and is dragging the country “closer to nuclear war.” She also said the party is hostile toward religious and spiritual people and police, and criticized its immigration and national security policies.

“I believe in a government that is of, by, and for the people,” Gabbard said. “Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Party does not. Instead, it stands for a government of, by, and for the powerful elite.”


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The announcement was also the theme of the inaugural episode of her podcast, “The Tulsi Gabbard Show,” which launched Tuesday. According to the podcast’s trailer, Gabbard will discuss a wide range of issues along “with guests from all walks of life.”

Gabbard was elected to Congress in 2012 and sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. Throughout her campaign, Gabbard struggled at the bottom of a crowded field, but she produced plenty of turmoil.

Gabbard, who regularly appeared on Fox News, had high-profile clashes with former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who said Gabbard was a “favorite of the Russians.” Gabbard called Clinton the “queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party” and eventually filed a defamation suit against Clinton. She threatened to boycott an October 2019 debate, accusing the Democratic National Party and the media of “rigging” the event. At another debate, Gabbard railed against then-Sen. Kamala Harris and her record as California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney, in an attack with misleading accusations.

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Gabbard was frequently on the defensive about a controversial and criticized January 2017 meeting with Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian dictator known for a chemical attack against his own people.


In March 2020, Gabbard dropped out of the race, one of only three contenders left and the only woman left, and announced she would back then-Vice President Joe Biden.