CNN hosts 2020 town hall at SXSW

By Veronica Rocha and Brian Ries, CNN

Updated 8:44 a.m. ET, March 11, 2019
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8:17 p.m. ET, March 10, 2019

She's an Iraq War veteran promising to end "regime-change wars"

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said she would end the United States’ “regime-change wars” in countries like Syria, and prevent the US from intervening in Venezuela and Iran.

“I will end these regime-change wars. I will work to end this new Cold War and this nuclear arms race that is costing us trillions, and again take those resources … and use them to serve the needs of people here,” she told CNN Sunday.

Gabbard, a veteran of the Iraq War, said her “position and my commitment in fighting to end these counterproductive regime-change wars is based on these experiences and my understanding the cost of war and who pays the price.”

She said those paying that price include service members and their families, as well as American taxpayers.

8:02 p.m. ET, March 10, 2019

NOW: Tulsi Gabbard takes the stage

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just took the stage at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas, alongside CNN's Dana Bash.

She is now answering questions.

Follow here for her responses or watch live in the video player above.

8:21 p.m. ET, March 10, 2019

She "absolutely" thinks this country needs a change

Outside the theater, Ann Huston told CNN that she's not a single-issue person, so she's looking for answers from the candidates on wide-range of key issues -- including women's rights, gun control and mental health issues.

Asked if she knows how she is voting for in 2020, Huston said, "No, not at all."

"(Amy) Klobuchar said yesterday, 'Whoever the best woman should win,' so I am totally a fan," Huston said.

She said she keeps her mind open and she wants to look at all the candidates.

"I absolutely think we need change," she said.

7:57 p.m. ET, March 10, 2019

Gabbard is running as an anti-interventionalist Democrat

 Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
 Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who gained national prominence in 2016 as an outspoken supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign, will run for president as an anti-interventionalist Democrat who supports a populist economic agenda.

She formally launched on Jan. 24 in an announcement video, which emphasizes peace.

"Every time we launch these interventionist regime change wars, it is not only our veterans who pay the price for that," she says. "Every single one of us pays the price."

Gabbard held a launch event in Honolulu on Feb. 2.

Her campaign had a rocky start: Gabbard's campaign has been defined by chaos inside the operation and a string of fits and starts to the congresswoman's decision to get into the race in the first place. The unexpected announcement forced Gabbard's team to scramble to get her campaign infrastructure in order.

Gabbard faced further scrutiny when CNN's KFile reported that the now-progressive lawmaker once touted working for an anti-gay group that backed conversion therapy and mobilized to pass a measure against same-sex marriage in Hawaii.

She also said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not the enemy of the United States, standing by her opposition to US involvement in that country's civil war two years after she met personally with the accused war criminal.

8:14 p.m. ET, March 10, 2019

Why Delaney says he's running for president

John Delaney wants to be president because he said he wants a better future for all children.

"I want to be the president that builds that better future, that does the thing we need to do to create a better future for my kids, for maybe your children, for all your children. That's why I'm running for president," he said.

Delaney went on to say that politicians need to be honest with Americans about the problems in this country, as well as the solutions.

"We need someone to bring us together, find the right answer — not the Democratic answer. Not the Republican answer. But the right answer," he said.

8:01 p.m. ET, March 10, 2019

In dig at Trump, Delaney says he will believe the intel community over Putin

From CNN's Dan Merica

Former Rep. John Delaney took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday when he said he believed the intelligence agencies of the United States over Vladimir Putin.

“I believe them over Putin, so I will start with that, Delaney said when asked about Russian intervention in the 2016 election.

Former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe said in an interview with 60 Minutes that Trump dismissed the intelligence agencies’ finding of the threat posed by North Korea’s missiles by saying, “I don’t care. I believe Putin.”

Trump has said in 2018 that he holds Putin responsible for election meddling, but he has also attacked the intelligence community and undercut their findings.

7:59 p.m. ET, March 10, 2019

Delaney: Trump’s "fundamental lack of a moral compass" is hurting the country

From CNN's Dan Merica

Former Rep. John Delaney said President Donald Trump’s “fundamental lack of a moral compass” is damaging the United States.

Asked about the longest-lasting consequences of Trump’s presidency, Delaney offered two answers.

  1. On American politics: “For the American people, what he’s done to degrade the standards in our society -- the fear-mongering, his notion that your enemy is your fellow American -- I think that is so corrosive and so damaging. … I think he’s a deeply divisive president who fear-mongers, and his approach is not who we are as an American people. It’s not who we are,” he said.
  2. On the world stage: “He has a very narrow, transactional view of the world. He doesn’t value our allies. He doesn’t value the institutions that we’ve worked so hard to build.”

8:04 p.m. ET, March 10, 2019

Delaney calls gerrymandering "one of the most insidious forces in our politics"

John Delaney want to be a president that ends gerrymandering in the US.

He said federal legislation is needed to ended gerrymandering, take "big some big money out of politics, and deal with voter suppression." 

"Constituents should be choosing their elected officials.... So I think gerrymandering is one of the most insidious forces in our politics," Delaney said.

"Gerrymandering is kind of part of that three-headed monster," he added.

One thing to note: The former Maryland congressman's district — District 6— is considered one of the most gerrymandered in the country. And is a prime example of Democrats gerrymandering.

7:51 p.m. ET, March 10, 2019

Delaney: "I don’t believe religious doctrine should inform public policy"

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Former Rep. John Delaney said his Catholic faith would not inform his views on public policy if he is elected president.

“I firmly believe in the separation of church and state, full stop,” the Maryland Democrat said Sunday when asked how his religion would shape his approach in office.

He said his “social justice orientation” comes from his Catholic faith “to some extent.” But he said he doesn’t think his church’s doctrine “should decide public policy in this country.”

“I also believe strongly in the freedom of religion, right, and I believe strongly in the separation of church and state. So I don’t believe religious doctrine should inform public policy,” he said.