Confusion as Gravel endorses both Gabbard & Sanders

Appearing on PRIMO NUTMEG yesterday, former Senator Mike Gravel clarified that he is endorsing both Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Presidential election.

"I still want to maintain my presence in the race by endorsing Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard," Gravel said. "So I'll continue in that capacity. I believe that both campaigns will use me as a surrogate as time goes on here. So I'm very committed to them. And, you know, there's nothing unusual about supporting two candidates when there's two offices open; one is for President and the other is Vice President."

Gravel went on to clarify that he is endorsing either Gabbard or Sanders for President and either Gabbard or Sanders for Vice President.

"In other words, let's see what happens in the polls and let's see what happens in Iowa and New Hampshire and clearly the field will narrow down, and we'll see how Tulsi and Bernie play out as the field narrows," Gravel said.

Confusion had abounded earlier in the day as Gravel's Twitter account only posted a video of Gravel endorsing Sanders but not Gabbard.

Several media reports followed suit, with headlines that did not mention Gabbard. News outlets like ABC, CBS, POLITICO, The Hill, Vox, Business Insider, and Huffington Post only reported Gravel's endorsement of Sanders, but not his endorsement of Gabbard.

A piece by Gideon Resnik in The Daily Beast even featured a quote from the Gravel team's David Oks suggesting that Gabbard would be dropping out of the race soon.

“We thought that a Bernie endorsement would be the best move,” Oks explained. “We like Tulsi. Tulsi is better than the vast majority of the candidates, but we knew that Tulsi is most likely going to be dropping out in a few weeks.” Gabbard has given no indication she intends to drop out of the race and, in fact, has crossed the donor threshold for the next debate.

During his appearance on PRIMO NUTMEG, Gravel made clear that he had actually recorded two separate videos, one endorsing Sanders and one endorsing Gabbard.

"Well the Tulsi campaign had not requested a video. Bernie did and we had a video crew come over. And so, while the crew was here, I took advantage to cut an endorsement of Tulsi and they weren't aware of it until it was done. And then I made them aware of its existence and we made every effort to get it to [Gabbard's campaign] early this morning or late last night," Gravel said.

The team who manages Gravel's Twitter account only posted the Sanders video (which was retweeted by Sanders) and claimed to forward the Gabbard video to her campaign.

During the interview, Gravel also explained that there had been agreement from the onset that he would eventually drop out and support Sanders. According to Gravel, however, Gabbard had made such an impact on him that he wanted to endorse her as well.

"At the beginning, when we first decided to let the kids run my campaign, we had agreed that at the end of the campaign we'd be supporting Bernie," Gravel said. "However, from the get-go, I was very impressed with Tulsi Gabbard. And I see her as a real coming-powerhouse because of her charisma, her level-headedness, her courage in opposing the military-industrial complex. And so I'm supportive of her and Bernie."

Gravel also said that his campaign would be forwarding $4,000 of campaign donations to both Gabbard and Sanders.

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