Gabbard taking two weeks off from campaign trail to report for active duty

Gabbard taking two weeks off from campaign trail to report for active duty
© Greg Nash

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Clinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race Saagar Enjeti: Clinton remarks on Gabbard 'shows just how deep the rot in our system goes' MORE (D) is taking two weeks off the presidential campaign trail to report for active duty. 

Gabbard told CBS News in an interview released Monday that she will be joining a training exercise mission in Indonesia. 

“I love our country, I love being able to serve our country in so many ways, including as a soldier. So while some people are telling me, like, ‘Gosh, this is a terrible time to leave the campaign, can you find a way out of it?’ You know, that's not what this is about," Gabbard, who's considered a long-shot candidate, said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’m not really thinking about how this will impact my campaign, I’m looking forward to fulfill my service, my responsibility.” 

A Gabbard campaign spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. 

The joint training exercise will focus on humanitarian aid, disaster response and counterterrorism, Gabbard told CBS. 

Gabbard served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005, and served in Kuwait from 2008 to 2009. 

She is one of three Democrats in the crowded primary field who have military experience, along with South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Russian, Iranian accounts trying to interfere in 2020 | Zuckerberg on public relations blitz | Uncertainty over Huawei ban one month out Clinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race MORE and former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.). 

Some Democrats have criticized Gabbard for an announced trip she took to Syria in 2017 to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Aleppo. Her primary opponent Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisClinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race Poll: Biden holds 10-point lead nationally over Warren Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special MORE (D-Calif.) called Gabbard an "apologist" for Assad. 

"I have no regrets and make no apologies for pursuing diplomacy, understanding that the only alternatives to diplomacy is war," she told CBSN. "We need leaders who will have the courage to meet with brutal dictators, to meet with adversaries in the pursuit of our national security, in the pursuit of keeping the American people safe, and in the pursuit of peace."