U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks after being awarded a Frontier Award during a ceremony at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts November 25, 2013.
(photo credit: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER)
WASHINGTON -- Two young Democrats entered a fast-growing field of candidates for the party's 2020 presidential nomination this weekend.
Tulsi Gabbard, a congressman from Hawaii, and Julian Castro, former secretary of housing and urban development under the Obama administration, declared runs for the presidency.
Gabbard has set herself as a defender of Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus and its allies in Moscow and Tehran, going as far to visit with Assad in 2017 to the dismay of her colleagues. She has cast doubt on his use of chemical weapons against civilians, despite definitive international inquiries into several instances of the use of sarin gas.
She has also been a vocal critic of Israel and has frequently criticized the state for its use of live fire against Palestinians, including last year amid riots at the Gaza border.
Castro, from Texas, has a shorter record on foreign policy matters, but embraced his former boss’s positions on Israel and the Iran nuclear deal.
He has frequently praised Israel for its innovative spirit and supports continued defense aid to the Jewish state.
Nearly three dozen candidates are expected to run for the Democratic nomination, in what is considered a wide-open field.