Presidential Campaign Launch Speech
February 2, 2019 — Honolulu, HI
Thank you so much.
Growing up here in Hawaii, I loved swimming, surfing, and having fun in this paradise we are lucky to call home.
But I gradually realized that I was actually happiest when I was doing things for other people, doing things to protect our water, oceans, and beaches.
This was a different kind of happiness than what I experienced when just thinking of myself. It was a deeper happiness, that stayed with me.
I knew that no matter what path I chose in life, I wanted service to be the foundation. …
I am proud to be the first Hindu American to have been elected to Congress, and now, the first Hindu American to run for president.
And while some of the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first, maybe even informed Americans at large about the world’s third largest religion, they have instead fomented suspicion, fear, and religious bigotry about not only me, but my supporters.
That Hindus, alongside countless Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, agnostics, and atheists, support me should not be newsworthy. But some media outlets have chosen to craft a false narrative of intrigue by profiling and targeting all of my donors who have names of Hindu origin and accusing them of being “Hindu nationalists.” …
My LGBTQ+ Statement
In my past I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, hurtful to the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones.
Many years ago, I apologized for my words and, more importantly, the negative impact that they had. I sincerely repeat my apology today. I remain deeply sorry for having said them. My views have changed significantly since then, and my record over the last 6 years in Congress reflects what is in my heart: A strong and ongoing commitment to fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
I also want you to know I’ve taken these past few days to listen. I hear your questions, fears, and concerns, and want to reassure my LGBTQ+ friends and their communities about my firm commitment to fight for and champion equality. …