HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard made her first trip back to the islands since appearing in the first Democratic presidential candidates debate last Wednesday, addressing the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in Waikiki.
Gabbard defended her focus on foreign policy, telling the mayors that what she refers to as “regime change wars” are costing too much and taking funding that could be used at the local level.
“That’s why it’s imperative that every mayor, every leader at every level of government take action to stand up and speak out about this danger of nuclear war that we’re facing, speak out against these wasteful regime change wars and this new cold war that’s sucking money out of our pockets and our communities,” she told a session of women mayors.
Gabbard also asked the mayors if they were prepared if there were to be a missile alert, such as the false alert that caused panic in Hawaii last year.
“We need a radical change in our foreign policy to prevent this kind of thing from happening, and to make sure that our children and our families and generations to come can live free from fear of a nuclear war,” she said.
President Trump, speaking in South Korea, said things have improved since he opened a dialogue with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. He made the remarks after making a historic walk into the isolated country at the demilitarized zone with Kim.
“When we started this, you had missiles flying over Japan. They weren’t so happy. They had the sirens going and a lot of problems. I think you all remember the case of Hawaii,” the president said. “And I became president and we went through a rough dialogue for a while and recovered very well.”
“The contradiction in Trump’s policies, where on the one hand he’s waging regime change wars, tearing nuclear agreements, and on the other hand telling Kim Jon-Un, ‘we’re not going to launch a regime change war and we’re going to make an agreement with you.’ It undermines any efforts toward that end,” Gabbard said.
The congresswoman also said she was pleased with the exposure she received from last week’s Democratic debates, even with a crowded field of candidates. She said it gave her campaign a needed boost.
“Look, we’re an underdog campaign, and so we need that support, we need those grassroots contributions to make sure that our voice continues to be heard at the debate stage, and that’s what I’m going to keep focused on.”
Gabbard’s office said she is scheduled to meet with constituents during her brief stay in Hawaii. She is also set to host a sunrise reception for the mayors before returning to the mainland on Tuesday.