Despite saying former President Donald Trump was “unfit to serve” as president in 2019, the 2020 presidential candidate is now campaigning for Trump-endorsed GOP gubernatorial candidates in Illinois, Michigan and Arizona and a GOP Senate candidate in Nevada.
ByUpdated Oct 31, 2022
Former Hawaii congresswoman and 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard on Monday added Republican Darren Bailey to the list of endorsements she’s made since leaving the Democratic party just weeks ago.
“I have never been more concerned about the future of this country than I am now. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m not back in Hawaii. That’s why I’m here with all of you,” Gabbard told the crowd.
“Because whether it’s with Gov. [J.B.] Pritzker, or the radical woke agenda being pushed by Democrats in Washington, those who seek to undermine our fundamental freedoms at every opportunity and who dangerously are using the force of the law to do so, politicizing the Department of Justice and the FBI … that’s a dangerous place to be. That we have a government that is of, by and for the elite,” Gabbard said.
Bailey, who did not mention Gabbard in his speech, vowed to repeal the criminal justice reform law known as the SAFE-T Act and fire “the entire Illinois State Board of Education,” and “take back our schools.”
“Day One, every agency director is gone, and they will be filled with men and women with common sense and morals,” Bailey said to cheers from the crowd, which his campaign estimated at 700.
The downstate state senator said “we’re living a nightmare,” with shootings, murders and fewer jobs than four years ago.
“We can fix these problems that we have in Illinois,” Bailey said.
“We can restore the integrity that has been stolen from J.B. Pritzker and others,” he said, apparently mixing his words. “There is no sense that we should be living as we’re living in fear.”
Despite saying former President Donald Trump was “unfit to serve” as president in 2019, Gabbard is now campaigning for Trump-endorsed GOP gubernatorial candidates, including Bailey, Tudor Dixon in Michigan and Kari Lake in Arizona, as well as Nevada Senate candidate Adam Laxalt.
Last week she also held a rally with Utah Sen. Mike Lee. And she plans to campaign with South Carolina U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace on Thursday.
Gabbard on Monday penned a Fox News op-ed with Don Bolduc, the Republican Senate nominee in New Hampshire, writing that the “so-called woke elite Democrats in Washington are out of touch with the hardships the American people are struggling with.” Bolduc, a retired Army General, is also endorsed by Trump.
Asked about her support for Trump-endorsed candidates prior to her remarks, Gabbard said the former president’s support is “not a factor” in her endorsement decisions. Gabbard has also previously voiced support for abortion rights, which Bailey opposes.
“I’m an independent. I’m looking for great Americans who are committed to serving the people first, not serving the party interest or corporate interest,” Gabbard said. “But really fighting for the needs of the people in their communities, and I’ve been grateful to be able to support some really fantastic patriots.”
John Lillis and Janice Lillis, of Westchester, said it was disdain over the SAFE-T Act — and fears that children will have to receive a mandated COVID-19 vaccine yearly — that brought them out to support Bailey. There are currently no yearly COVID-19 vaccine requirements for schoolchildren.
The west suburban couple said they’re fans of Gabbard, whom they watch frequently on Fox News.“I think she’s a very ballsy woman,” Janice Lillis said. “That’s why I like her.”
“She saw what was happening and said, I can’t live with it anymore,” John Lillis said of Gabbard’s departure from the Democratic Party. “And I think there are a lot of people on her side.”
Pritzker’s campaign earlier Monday called Tulsi a “Russia apologist and conspiracy theorist,” and someone “most famous for polling at only 1% in the early days of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.”
“Disliked by Republicans and Democrats alike, Tulsi Gabbard has repeatedly shown that her loyalties lie with foreign adversaries,” Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Eliza Glezer said in a statement. “Darren Bailey should answer for why he is so proud to campaign with a Trump-aligned, Russian apologist.”
Gabbard has pushed a conspiracy about U.S.-backed biological labs in Ukraine that she says are “conducting research on dangerous pathogens,” a claim that experts have called baseless and U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., has dubbed “actual Russian propaganda.”
Just last week, Gabbard blasted President Joe Biden for not negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine invasion to prevent “a nuclear holocaust.”
In her address, Gabbard called the Pritzker campaign’s comments “lies, attacks and smears.”