Apr 2, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Tulsi Gabbard reportedly rejected RFK Jr. VP offer

Tulsi Gabbard, former US Representative from Hawaii, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, US, on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

Tulsi Gabbard speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 22. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard reportedly turned down running as independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s running mate, telling ABC News in a statement that she "respectfully declined."

Why it matters: Both former President Trump and Kennedy's campaigns have reportedly eyed Gabbard, who left the Democratic Party in 2022, as a possible 2024 vice presidential pick.

Driving the news: "I met with Kennedy several times, and we have become good friends," Gabbard said in a statement to ABC News.

  • "He asked if I would be his running mate. After careful consideration, I respectfully declined."
  • A spokesperson for Kennedy's campaign did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

The big picture: Kennedy announced last week that he was tapping attorney and tech entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan to be his running mate for his third-party presidential bid.

  • Kennedy had considered a range of possible VP picks, including NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and ex-Minnesota governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura.

What to watch: Gabbard, who ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2019, has also reportedly been considered by some Trump allies to be his VP pick in November.

  • Gabbard said last month that she "would be open" to being the former president's vice presidential pick, adding that her "mission is to serve our country."

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