WASHINGTON — Tulsi Gabbard, a former U.S. representative for Hawaii, says she’s leaving the Democratic Party just two years after seeking its presidential nomination.

The announcement came Tuesday morning via a 28-minute YouTube video she shared on other social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, in which she leaned heavily into Republican talking points.

The video was the first episode in a new podcast series called “The Tulsi Gabbard Show.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard announces her run for president at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says she’s leaving the Democratic Party. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party,” Gabbard said. “It’s now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of war mongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoking anti-white racism.”

Gabbard said Democrats support open borders and demonize the police. She also said party leaders were trying to “weaponize the national security state to go after their political opponents and above all, are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.”

Gabbard did not say whether she was planning to join the Republican Party.

Gabbard has become a prominent figure in conservative media and has long been a darling of GOP pundits, such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity on Fox News. Carlson in particular has featured her prominently on his show, even inviting her to serve as its guest host while he was on vacation.

Gabbard ran for president as a Democrat in 2020 but failed to gain much traction.

She has been flirting with right-wing politics ever since, whether it was voting against the impeachment of former President Donald Trump, introducing legislation to ban transgender athletes from participating in collegiate sports or repeatedly trashing the Biden administration over its stance against Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

Gabbard’s conservative tendencies are deeply rooted.

She grew up in a conservative household with parents who were adherents to the Science of Identity Foundation, a fringe offshoot of Hare Krishna often described as a cult that’s known for espousing anti-gay sentiment.

Her father, Hawaii State Sen. Mike Gabbard, was a prominent figure in the push against gay marriage and she was a willing participant in those efforts, even as a state lawmaker.

In Congress, she was unafraid to attack her own party, and was highly critical of former President Barack Obama for his refusal to call certain terrorists “Islamic extremists.”

She has repeatedly attacked Vice President Kamala Harris, calling her “stupid” and saying she was only chosen for the position “because of the color of her skin and sex—not qualification.”

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