Tulsi Gabbard officially launches 2020 campaign

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard on Chicago mayor's decision to limit media interviews to people of color: 'Anti-white racism' Fox News says network and anchor Leland Vittert have 'parted ways' New co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials MORE (D) officially joined the race for for president on Saturday afternoon at a rally in her home state hosted weeks after she announced her campaign on CNN.

Gabbard took aim at America's foreign policy establishment in her campaign announcement Saturday, blaming politicians in "ivory towers" for U.S. involvement in costly armed conflicts abroad.

"We must stand against powerful politicians from both parties who sit in ivory towers thinking up new wars to wage & new places for people to die. Wasting trillions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives, undermining our economy and security, and destroying our middle class," Gabbard said during her address.


"These powerful politicians dishonor the sacrifices made by every one of our service members, and their families — they are the ones who pay the price for these wars," she added.

The Hawaii lawmaker pointed to her service in the state's Army National Guard as a reason for her desire to seek public office.

"It is this principle of service above self that is at the heart of every soldier," Gabbard told a cheering crowd. "At the heart of every service number. And it is in this spirit, that today I announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America."

Gabbard's announcement last month during an interview with CNN's Van Jones placed her in the middle of a crowded and growing field of Democratic candidates vying for the party's nomination, a list which includes Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWhy in the world are White House reporters being told to mask up again? Want to improve vaccine rates? Ask for this endorsement Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory BookerHuman rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer MORE (D-N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandTreat broadband as infrastructure and we have a chance to get it right House panel looks to help military sexual assault survivors To make energy green, remove red tape MORE (D-N.Y.).

She faces an uphill battle against candidates with established support from other members of Congress, some of whom have already expressed skepticism toward Gabbard's presidential ambitions.

Gabbard has particularly faced criticism for her involvement with her father's opposition to LGBT rights and her previous meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoHillicon Valley: Facebook tightens teen protections | FBI cautions against banning ransomware payments | Republicans probe White House-social media collaboration Top FBI official advises Congress against banning ransomware payments Democrats criticize FBI's handling of tip line in Kavanaugh investigation MORE (D-Hawaii), the state's senior senator, appeared to dismiss the prospect of supporting Gabbard's candidacy during an MSNBC interview, telling an interviewer that she would be "looking for someone who has a long record of supporting progressive goals."