Transcript for Tulsi Gabbard on why she’s running for president
T it takes to protect. Hawaiian congresswoman Tulsi gabbard has achieved many firsts in her career. She’s the first American Samoan and the first hindu member of congress, as well as the youngest woman ever elected to state legislature. Now she wants to add first female president of the united States to her resume, so please give a warm aloha to congresswoman Tulsi gabbard. Thank you. Aloha. So congresswoman, I want to ask you — we always ask everybody who’s running, why? Why are you doing it? Crazed look on your face. After 9/11, like so many Americans, I wanted to do something to serve and protect our people and our country. So I enlisted in the army National Guard, volunteered, deployed to Iraq, and in 2012 along with now senator Tammy Duckworth became one of the first female combat veterans ever elected to congress. It is those values of service before self that every soldier, every service member represents that I want to bring to the white house to reinstill those values of honor, integrity and respect to the presidency. Very brave of you to join up like that. That’s great. Thank you. It’s my honor to serve, anks. How did your experience fighting in Iraq shape your outlook of the United States’ role I foreign policy? In my research I found that you have a strict noninterventionist approach, and you are against the United States entering countries and being there for this sort of regime change. Yeah. As a soldier, I deployed with our brigade combat team from Hawaii. I volunteered to deploy with them to Iraq in 2005 which was the height of the conflict there. I served in a medical where every single day I was confronted with in a heart wrenching way the high human cost of war. Very first thing I did every single morning was go down a list of names, every single American casualty, every single service member who was injured the day before, and I had to see if any of our brigade soldiers were on that list, make sure they got the care that they needed or evacuate them as quickly as possible. But as I went through this list every single day, I was struck with the names and the faces of my brothers and sisters who were paying the price for this war. I was struck with their families, their loved ones at home who were so stressed and so anxious for the well-being of their loved ones. It is those experiences of understanding and knowing firsthand the cost of war, both on our service members, on our veterans, as well as the cost on the people in the countries where we intervene, as well as the trillions of dollars, our taxpayer dollars, that are spent on waging these wars, dollars that are sorely needed to address the very real urgent needs of our families, our communities, our neighbors right here at home. So should we not get involved when we see atrocities abroad? We have to understand looking at Iraq, Libya and Syria for example, that there are brutal dictators in the world. Unfortunately there are people who are suffering as a result of that. But in so many examples throughout history when the United States takes action and intervenes and launches these regime change wars to topple these dictators, the suffering of the people in these countries increases. Their lives are made worse off than they were before. There is far more death and destruction. Libya is a perfect example. Moammar Gadhafi was toppled. Now today we have more terrorist groups in Libya than ever before. We have Libyan people, women and children, being sold in open markets as slaves. So while these wars — Which we didn’t have before when you were there? Which didn’t exist before. Can I interrupt you? Just this one point. We feel for the suffering of people in these countries and I want to be able to help them and so many of these wars are begun and waged from a place of humanitarianism but the reality is and it’s a harsh reality, that there is more suffering and more loss of life and more destruction as a result of these wars which does not serve the people in these countries, nor does it serve our interests and our security. Congresswoman, first, thank you for your service, which is something I say to everyone who has served that comes on the show because I think it’s important. That being said, my understanding is you know how I feel about your stance on foreign policy and when I hear the name Tulsi gabbard, I think of Assad apologist, I think of someone who comes back to the United States and is spouting propaganda from Syria. You have said that the Syrian president, Assad, is not the enemy of the United States, yet he’s used chemical weapons against his own people 300 times. That was a red line with president Obama. That is not our enemy. 13 million Syrians have been displaced. When you gassing children isn’t hurtful, it’s hard for me to understand where you come from as a humanitarian. You’re putting words in my mouth. You did not say that Syrian president Assad is not the enemy of the United States? Say it now, clarify. The issue is how can we help — One moment. Is he the enemy of the united States? An enemy of the United States is someone who threatens our safety and our security. There is no disputing the fact that bashar Al Assad and Syria is a brutal dictator. There’s no disputing the fact that he has used chemical weapons and other weapons against his people. There are other terrorist groups in Syria who have used similar chemical weapons and other weapons of terror against the people of Syria. This is an unfortunate thing that wrenches at every one of our hearts. This is not something that I’m disputing, nor am I apologizing or defending these actions. My point is that the reality we are facing here is that since the United States started waging a covert regime change war in Syria starting in 2011, the lives of the Syrian people have not been improved. Their well-being has not gotten to a better place, their suffering has not decreased. It has increased, in addition to the fact that Al Qaeda is stronger in Syria today than ever before. So not only are we dealing with the fact that this regime change war we’ve been waging in Syria has not helped the Syrian people, it has made their lives worse off — Bashar Al Assad is gassing his people. It has undermined our security. And Iran has greater influence in Syria than ever before. Tulszy, you and I know each other and have had these discussions and arguments over text and over phone. I’ve told you — Over text? Yeah. — How much we disagree. People text, right? We disagree on this issue. We’ve had it on the phone as well. I’m also — I’m very troubled by the tweets about Venezuela that you’ve put out. We’ve talked about that, maduro is doing to the people of Venezuela. Over 3 million have been displaced. People are starving. He’s not allowing humanitarian aid in. He is a thug, he is a dictator, he is corrupt. And I am very supportive of what the United States is doing right now, leading the solidarity in support of freedom-loving Venezuelans and putting economic sanctions. Why are you so against intervention in Venezuela, not military intervention but what we are doing? Because every time the united States, and particularly in Latin America, has gotten involved in regime change, using different tools to enact that regime change, there have been both short and long-term devastating impacts. If there are ways that we can work with surrounding countries to try to get humanitarian aid in to people there, then we should be doing that. But for the United States to go in and choose who should be the leader of Venezuela, that is not something that serves the interests of the Venezuelan people. That’s something that they need to determine themselves. The U.S. Is not choosing who’s going to be the leader of Venezuela. Millions of Venezuelans are marching on the street. Do you support military intervention in the same level that you put economic and diplomatic efforts? The United States has used both military, CIA, sanctions and other tools to intervene and enact regime change in countries around the world. Iran is a great example. The CIA led a covert operation to overthrow the government in Iran decades ago. This led to decades upon decades of hardship and suffering and authoritarian government and has led us to the place where we’re dealing with many challenges. We’re going to come back with more from you because I think you have more to say on this and you should. I wondering if this particular position that you take is going to be a popular one in the democratic party. This is an issue that I have found many Americans appreciate and understand because we understand that every one of us is paying the price for these regime change wars that are not helping people in these countries and they’re counter productive to our interests at home. I believe trump said something similar when he was running, did he not? Am I wrong about that? He may have but the problem is — Not that he’s doing it. He has not carried through. He has gone back and broken his promises. Okay, all right. We’re going to keep you. We’ll have more with representative Tulsi gabbard Unpredictable Crohn’s symptoms following you? For adults with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease, Stelara?? works differently. Studies showed relief and remission, with dosing every 8 weeks. Stelara?? may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. Some serious infections require hospitalization. Before treatment, get tested for tb. Tell your doctor if you have an infection or flu-like symptoms or sores, have had cancer,develop new skin growths, or if anyone in your house needs or recently had a vaccine. Alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems. These may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. 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