Tulsi Gabbard officially launches 2020 campaign

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardNBC, CNN to host first two Democratic presidential primary debates Exclusive: Biden almost certain to enter 2020 race Montana governor visiting Iowa amid talk of possible 2020 bid 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.

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"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 Devi HarrisNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union Former Virginia Gov McAuliffe writes book about confronting white nationalism MORE (D-N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Poll: Sanders, Biden seen as most popular second choices in Dem primary MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union Omar: Next president should declare national emergency on climate change ‘on day 1’ 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 HironoTrump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union New battle lines in war over Trump’s judicial picks Trump divides Democrats with warning of creeping socialism 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."