Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) continued her journey across the Granite State as she hosted a rally and policy talk, part of the Presidential Primary Lecture Series in the Huddleston Hall ballroom at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) on Friday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. While turnout was relatively modest, there was no shortage of politically savvy attendees or topics.
Gabbard spoke on numerous topics, such as affordable education, healthcare, climate change and her signature issue: ending what she describes as “endless wars.” The candidate’s critiques of “regime-change” wars has attracted many veterans to her campaign, as she positions herself as a progressive, believing funds used for what she describes as interventionist wars in Iraq and Syria should be allocated to more pressing domestic issues, such as infrastructure, healthcare, and college debt.
Gabbard stressed that these issues are key to the economic wellbeing of the United States and its citizens.
“What can be more patriotic than to stand together to take care of the well-being of our brothers and sisters,” she asked the crowd.
Gabbard held a Q&A session after the event, facilitated by the Carsey School of Public Policy and Young Americans for Liberty. The event allotted three questions to the audience, after which Gabbard held a photo line for everyone in attendance.
Rachel Peters, a self-described libertarian, attended the event on Friday to further explore the Democratic field.
“She’s more of a moderate candidate. She cares about censorship. She is willing to talk with people from all sides of the spectrum,” Peters told The New Hampshire. “Warren and Biden want to shut down Republicans. Tulsi has demonstrated a willingness to compromise.”
Peters was not the only one to echo this sentiment: first-year undeclared major Tu Anh Duong, a self-described moderate voter, resonated with Gabbard’s message.
“She’s one of the few candidates that I’ve seen that speaks to the common person,” he said.
Education, in particular, was a hot-button topic for Duong, telling The New Hampshire that her views on education – which include support for tuition-free public colleges and higher base salaries for new teachers – “really spoke to me.”
Despite the modest crowd, Gabbard appeared to attract individuals from a diverse set of beliefs, as progressives, libertarians and even former Trump voters made their way to the event.
Gabbard has made headlines during the 2020 election cycle, primarily on her stance on reaching across the aisle and ending the United States’ “regime change” wars. Gabbard served as a medic and a platoon leader during her tenure in Iraq, and has served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from its 42nd district, the Honolulu City Council and most recently, the United States House of Representatives representing Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district.
Gabbard served as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until 2016, after which she resigned in order to support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his first run for president.
Gabbard participated in the most recent Democratic debate in Ohio on Oct. 15, but has yet to meet the polling threshold for the next debate, slated for Nov. 20. Gabbard has called for debates to be hosted by organizations such as the League of Women Voters, claiming that mainstream media outlets hold an implicit bias against her and other similarly progressive campaigns.
The Carsey School of Public Policy hosts presidential candidates from both parties as part of their Presidential Primary Lecture Series in Huddleston Hall. Former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) is scheduled to be the school’s next speaker on Monday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m.; Delaney will be focusing his discussion on creative solutions to climate change.