Former Democratic National Committee co-chair Rep. Tulsi Gabbard hit the campaign trail for Bernie Sanders at a Tampa, Fla., rally on Thursday as the Vermont senator picks up steam.

After a surprise win in Tuesday's Michigan primary, the Sanders campaign hopes to capitalize on the Southern primaries winding down. Gabbard is a veteran whose foreign policy experience fills in a gap in the democratic socialist's resume.

"We can cast our vote for Hillary Clinton who we know the directions under her words will continue to take us down this path of spending trillions on regime change wars," the Hawaiian congresswoman argued. "Or we can vote for Bernie Sanders, end these costly counter-productive wars and use those resources to rebuild our community and our future here at home. Because we cannot afford to do both."

In an unexpected endorsement last month, Gabbard said she felt compelled to support Sanders and had to resign from her position as DNC co-chair in order to do so. A U.S. combat veteran, she argued that Sanders was the best choice for those who want to see America experience peace.

"It's important our commander in chief has a military mindset," Gabbard said. "It's about thinking through carefully a set of options and knowing what the consequences of those actions will be before not after."

She added, "Now Senator Sanders has made it clear that he will stop spending our precious resources on these interventionist regime change wars and will instead focus on rebuilding here at home."