Tulsi Gabbard qualifies for November presidential debate, defying predictions
She’s now obtained at least 3% in four polls in early nominating states or national surveys, meeting the debate criteria set by the DNC with just one week left to qualify.
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Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has qualified for the November presidential debate, defying predictions that her performance last month in Westerville, Ohio, would mark the last time she would be on the national debate stage.
The Nov. 20 debate, which will be held in Atlanta, is the fifth debate sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee. Ten candidates have qualified.
Gabbard obtained 3% in an Iowa poll released Wednesday that was conducted by Quinnipiac University. She’s now obtained at least 3% in four polls in early nominating states or national surveys, meeting the debate criteria set by the DNC with just one week left to qualify.
Gabbard’s presidential campaign was sputtering last month with low polling numbers and a poorly reviewed debate performance. A spat with Hillary Clinton, who suggested Gabbard was a Russian asset, seems to have given Gabbard a bump in the polls.
During an interview last month with David Plouffe, a former aide to President Barack Obama, Clinton was asked what she thought the Republican strategy would be for getting Trump reelected.
Clinton said she expected Republicans to try to divert votes away from the Democratic nominee, in part by supporting a third-party candidate. In 2016 some Democrats felt that Green Party candidate Jill Stein helped Trump win the presidency.
“They are also going to do third party again, and I’m not making any predictions, but I think they have their eye on someone who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said, a reference to Gabbard.
Clinton went on to say that Gabbard is a “favorite of the Russians.”
“They’ve got a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far, and that is assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she is also a Russian asset,” said Clinton.
The national media widely misreported Clinton as saying that the Russians, not the GOP, were grooming Gabbard to be a third-party candidate — fueling criticism that Clinton was engaging in a modern-day McCarthyism.
Gabbard, who has served in the Army National Guard for 16 years, took offense to being referred to as a Russian asset, and quickly hit back against Clinton calling her “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”
Gabbard has repeatedly said since then that she will not run as a third-party candidate.
The national attention seems to have raised Gabbard’s profile in the crowded primary, though her overall polling average is just 1.6%, according to Real Clear Politics.
Though her presidential bid remains a longshot, Gabbard announced on Oct. 24 that she would not be seeking reelection to her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives next year and will instead focus on her campaign for president. She’s said that her concern about the direction of U.S. foreign policy has motivated her to say in the race — a theme that has helped distinguish her among the pack of Democratic contenders.
“At this time when our country is so divided, and our world is moving ever closer to a nuclear holocaust; a time when we may be sucked into another even more disastrous war in the Middle East, and tensions with other nuclear powers are escalating, and with that, a new arms race and Cold War that can only end in nuclear catastrophe, I believe I can best serve the people of Hawai‘i and our country as your president and commander-in-chief,” Gabbard said in a video to Hawaii constituents last month.
ON THE AIR
The fifth two-hour Democratic primary debate for the 2020 presidential election will be held in Atlanta.
When: 4 p.m. Nov. 20
* Vice President Joe Biden
* Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
* Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.
* U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)
* Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
* Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
* Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
* Tom Steyer, billionaire activist
* Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
* Andrew Yang, entrepreneur
Source: NBC News