Tulsi Gabbard 'respectfully declined' to join Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. as his 2024 running mate

 April 4, 2024

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii "respectfully declined" Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s invitation to be his vice presidential running mate, Axios reported. Gabbard was also being courted by former President Donald Trump for the same position.

Kennedy asked her to join his 2024 presidential campaign, which is making great headway, but Gabbard refused. "I met with Kennedy several times, and we have become good friends," she said in a statement, according to the New York Post

"He asked if I would be his running mate. After careful consideration, I respectfully declined," Gabbard shared.

“Out of respect for him, I will not share the content of our conversations or my reasoning. I have nothing further to add," Gabbard said.

The Choice

Originally, Kennedy was seeking to unseat President Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate. However, he switched to become an independent in October after becoming frustrated with the Democratic Party.

Gabbard similarly became an independent in 2022 after serving as a Democrat in Congress, a fact which also makes her attractive as Trump's vice presidential pick. Her forthcoming book For Love of Country: Leave the Democrat Party Behind, explained that it was the "warmongers" who forced her out of the Democratic Party.

Because of this origin story, Gabbard could have been an asset in swaying voters to break away from Biden. She had even mulled her own presidential bid against Biden before deciding not to pursue it.

Although Gabbard turned down Kennedy's offer, a source said there's no love lost between the two. "There were definitely meetings, but it didn’t work out. We talked to a bunch of people," the unnamed source told the Post. “Tulsi’s a rock star no matter what."

Instead, Kennedy recently announced his vice presidential candidate would be attorney and philanthropist Nicole Shanahan. Others under consideration included New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rogers and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

A Breakout Candidate

Although Kennedy is a long shot to win the presidency, his campaign is certainly making Biden sweat. The RealClearPolitics polling average has Kennedy carving out 12.3% for himself, which puts him near the 15% he'd need to be included in the fall debates.

There hasn't been a third-party candidate who has pulled that off since the 1990s. Meanwhile, Trump has 40.7% of the potential vote, while the incumbent Biden has only 35.5%.

A campaign call on March 26 revealed that Democrats are in a panic over Kennedy. "We are doing everything in our power to get President Biden and Vice President Harris reelected. It's critical that we take seriously every possible obstacle to that goal," Pennsylvania Lieutenant Gov. Austin Davis said on the call with reporters and Demoratic politicians, according to Fox News.

"And let me be clear, that's exactly what Robert F. Kennedy is in this election. He's a spoiler," Davis added.

Although Gabbard would have been a good choice for Kennedy, it seems he's doing well on his own. That fact is not only a testament to Kennedy's appeal but also an indication that the left is ready to abandon Biden.

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