Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) went after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Sunday for conducting a Democratic presidential primary process that is not working in the interest of the American voters.
“What I plan to do as the Democratic nominee and as president is to rebuild a new Democratic Party — one that truly represents the interests of the people of this country, that is fighting for them, fighting for their wellbeing, fighting for the wellbeing of our country and protecting our natural resources on this planet,” Gabbard told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo during an appearance on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“I think it’s unfortunate that we have seen, especially throughout this Democratic primary, how the DNC has kind of been implementing their own pre-primary election before voters even get a chance to vote,” she continued. “I’m here in New Hampshire right now and voters here take very seriously the responsibility that they have as one of the very first in the nation to cast their votes about who they would like to see being our Democratic nominee — that is not something that the DNC or anyone should be taking away from them.”
This is not the first time that the presidential hopeful has butted heads with the Democrats’ governing body, rather, she has been an outspoken critic of the DNC’s lack of transparency and arbitrary determination of which polls are deemed eligible in order to qualify for the presidential debates. In August, her campaign urged the DNC to reconsider their criteria and further slammed the organization for hindering conversations “between future leaders of this country.”
While the Hawaii congresswoman has previously ruled out launching a bid as an independent candidate if she fails to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, speculation was reignited that she may after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that Gabbard is a “Russian asset” who is being “groom[ed]” to run on a third-party ticket.
Although the former first lady and twice failed presidential candidate refrained from naming the “Democratic primary” candidate to whom she was initially referring, Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill later confirmed that it was, in fact, Gabbard.
“If the nesting doll fits,” Merrill replied when asked directly about the congresswoman.
The remarks provoked a fierce rebuke from Gabbard who subsequently went after Clinton as the “queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.” The heated exchange provided renewed attention to her previously lagging presidential campaign.
Bartiromo addressed the rumors and questioned if Gabbard was mulling over a third-party bid amid the speculation.
“I am not,” Gabbard replied. “I have said numerous times that I would not run as a third-party candidate.”
“The perpetuation of that rumor has come from political opponents who really are just trying to create some kind of strange suspicion that I might do something else to try to undermine the support that we are getting from Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, who are saying hey look, we want to come and vote for you in the Democratic primary because of the unifying message and leadership that I will bring to this country,” she added.