HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three days after U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced her run for president in 2020, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono offered a decidedly lukewarm response when asked whether she’d support her fellow Hawaii congresswoman.
“I’m going to be looking for someone who has a long record of supporting progressive goals and ideas, and I certainly wish all of our candidates all the best, so it’s going to be a long, hard race,” Hirono told Kasie Hunt in an interview on MSNBC.
“But for myself, at least in these times of what I call not normal times, I want someone who is very much has been on the page in terms of supporting equal opportunity, choice, all of the kinds of issues that I have been fighting for for decades.”
After Hunt said that it sounds like Hirono doesn’t think Gabbard has done that, Hirono replied, “Well, I wish her well.”
Tensions have been high in recent days after Gabbard published an op-ed, scrutinizing Hirono and other Democratic lawmakers for how they questioned judicial nominee Brian Buescher, accusing them of “fomenting religious bigotry” against Catholics.
Hirono retorted in an interview on Capitol Hill that Gabbard "has it all wrong and it's pretty unfortunate."
Gabbard announced her 2020 run on Friday on CNN after months of speculation that she'd launch a bid for the White House.
But recently, she has also come under fire for her record, including for working for an anti-gay group in the early 2000s (when she was in her late teens).
The organization, called The Alliance for Traditional Marriage, was run by Gabbard’s father, Hawaii state Sen. Mike Gabbard.
Gabbard worked for the group before making her first run to be a state representative in 2002.
In a statement to CNN, she said, "First, let me say I regret the positions I took in the past, and the things I said. I'm grateful for those in the LGBTQ+ community who have shared their aloha with me throughout my personal journey."
She continued to say that if elected president, she will “continue to fight for equal rights for all.”
Gabbard currently represents Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District.