Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard explained in an interview with ABC News in Hudson, New Hampshire, why the representative from Hawaii voted present during the recent House vote on two articles of impeachment against the president.
"I think impeachment," Gabbard began, "unfortunately, will only further embolden Donald Trump, increase his support and the likelihood that he'll have a better shot at getting elected while also seeing the likelihood that the House will lose a lot of seats to Republicans."
Ahead of the impeachment vote, Gabbard introduced a resolution calling on the House to officially censor the president. Gabbard was the only House representative to vote present on both articles of impeachment against President Trump.
Gabbard has been trying to position herself as the least crazy candidate running in the still-crowded Democratic presidential primary.
Gabbard told ABC News that her vote was "not a decision of neutrality," but she was "standing up for the people of this country and our ability to move forward together."
“I am standing in the center and have decided to vote Present,” Gabbard said following the House vote. “I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing.”
"Thinking about what's politically advantageous," Gabbard told ABC News, "whether for me or for my party, does not enter into my mind around these decisions that have really great consequence."
Gabbard has announced that she will not be seeking re-election in the House, fully dedicating herself instead to her presidential run.