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“As vice chairman of the DNC I am required to stay neutral in Democratic primaries, but I cannot remain neutral any longer. The stakes are too high,” she said in a prepared statement and video released by the Sanders campaign.
Gabbard, a decorated Iraq War veteran of American Samoan decent, defended whether Sanders had the foreign policy experience necessary to be commander-in-chief.
“From talking with him and from his record, he does," she said on NBC’s Meet the Press. "How and when we use our military power, and just as importantly when we don't use that military power -- that military mindset says you have foresight.”
On the campaign trail, Sanders often talks about his “judgment” on foreign policy maters, namely his decision to vote against the war in Iraq.
Gabbard has had a tenuous relationship with the elites in the party throughout this election cycle. In October, she claimed she had been dis-invited from a Democratic debate after she publicly disagreed with DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz about the limited number of debates.