Tulsi Gabbard's Dem Decision Fuels Speculation She's Trump's VP Choice

Former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's decision to leave the Democratic Party has some wondering whether she could be former President Donald Trump's future running mate.

Gabbard announced on Tuesday in a video shared to social media that she was no longer a Democrat, and said the party was being led by "an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness" who promote "anti-white racism." She went on to say that she was leaving the party to become an Independent in part because she believed Democrats were bringing the world "ever closer to nuclear war."

Many were not surprised by Gabbard's move away from the Democratic Party. The former congresswoman has repeatedly promoted anti-LGBT positions, taken a pro-Russia stance on the war in Ukraine that is more in line with the American far-right than the left and advocated against "woke" culture since the end of her failed 2020 presidential campaign as a Democrat.

Tulsi Gabbard Donald Trump 2024 Speculation Republicans
Former President Donald Trump, left, during a rally in Mesa, Arizona, on October 9, 2022; former U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, right, during an event in Washington, D.C., on June 23, 2022. Some have speculated that Trump may pick Gabbard as his 2024 running mate after her departure from the Democratic Party. Left: Mario Tama, Right: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Gabbard was also a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida earlier this year and served as a guest host of the flagship Fox News program Tucker Carlson Tonight. While she did not register as a Republican on Tuesday, her shift to the political right has prompted many to speculate that she could become the GOP nominee for vice president in 2024.

"The thing I like about Tulsi... she's the definition of an individual," Fox News host Greg Gutfeld said during a Tuesday broadcast. "Look, I disagree with her on probably at least 30 percent, maybe 40 percent of the things... I think she's going to be Trump's VP... that's where this is going."

Alex Salvi, foreign correspondent for the conservative outlet Newsmax, shared a poll to Twitter asking followers whether Gabbard was "really a viable candidate to be a Republican Vice President pick." A 44 percent plurality of respondents said "no" as of Tuesday night, while about 37 percent said "yes."

Journalist Aaron Rupar noted that "Newsmax [was] already talking about Tulsi being on Trump's ticket" in a tweet alongside a still image of host Greg Kelly speculating about her being a 2024 candidate.

"Lot of chatter today about Tulsi joining a Trump ticket," ring-wing commentator Jack Posobiec tweeted.

"There is a non 0 chance Tulsi Gabbard ends up being Trumps running mate in 2024," self-described "Wisconsin Conservative" @GreatLakePolitc tweeted. "Sad but True fact."

"If Trump were to pick Tulsi as his running mate 95% of the people condemning her today would turn into her biggest supporters overnight," tweeted pro-Trump pundit John Cardillo. "So spare me the sanctimony."

"Tulsi gabbard is clearly angling to be the VP pick for either trump or desantis," tweeted The Dart founder and editor Elaine Atwell. "Which is honestly a smart move if you're not weighed down by principles or long-term thinking!"

"Tulsi was never a Democrat," musician and writer Holly Figueroa O'Reilly tweeted. "Tulsi has been a Russian asset for years. What are the odds that she's vying to be Trump's VP? #ByeFelicia"

Trump, who has not officially announced his candidacy despite repeatedly hinting at a 2024 run, has already ruled out former Vice President Mike Pence from any potential ticket, who he has been at increasing odds with since losing the 2020 election.

The rejection of Pence was largely due to the former vice president's refusal to invalidate President Joe Biden's 2020 victory during the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021. Trump has described Pence's decision as "political suicide" and the prospect of teaming up with him again in 2024 as "totally inappropriate."

Newsweek reached out to Gabbard and Trump's office for comment.