Former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel threw his support behind U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Tuesday after ending his own presidential ambitions last week. He also announced a new candidate he will support in the race: U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
In an interview with Primo Nutmeg, Gravel said he will donate some of his campaign funds equally to Gabbard and Sanders, adding that he hopes to be a surrogate for both candidates on the campaign trail.
“At the beginning…we had agreed that at the end of the campaign we’d be supporting Bernie. However, from the get-go, I was very impressed with Tulsi Gabbard,” Gravel said. “I see her as a real coming powerhouse because of her charisma, her level-headedness, her courage in opposing the military-industrial complex, so I’m supportive of her and Bernie.”
The rest of its funds not directed to Gabbard and Sanders, the campaign said, will go to charity and to setting up The Gravel Institute, a new left-wing think tank aimed at supporting “bold” leftist activism. The new institute’s stated goals draw upon the former senator’s pacifist priorities that were the centerpiece of his presidential campaign and include “ending the American empire” and “reforming our democracy.”
The Gravel Institute will write leftist policy papers, with a particular focus on:
– ending the American empire
– reforming our Democracy
– direct action by elected officials to end injustice and
— Mike Gravel (@MikeGravel) August 1, 2019
Gravel, 89, ended his campaign last week after being left off the debate stage in Detroit despite qualifying. Gravel was one of 21 candidates who qualified for 20 spots in the July debates, forcing the Democratic National Committee to go by tie-breaker rules to determine who got the last spot. Unfortunately for Gravel, the former Alaska senator didn’t get the podium.
Other candidates the Gravel campaign discussed throwing its support behind were U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and self-help author Marianne Williamson.