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DNC Chair Denies Banning Rep. Gabbard From Debate

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Democratic National Committee chairwomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz denied reports that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was disinvited from the first Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas by a message from the chief of staff of Wasserman Schultz because Gabbard appeared on MSNBC calling for more than six debates.

Host Andrea Mitchell asked, “What about your vice chair, Tulsi Gabbard, the congresswoman from Hawaii, who says you told her she could not come here today. That doesn’t sound inclusive.”

Wasserman Schultz said, “That’s simply not the case. The congresswoman was asked to focus on our candidates on the issues that are important to Americans to draw a contrast with the Republicans.”

She continued, “We are a big tent party and welcome those opinions. This debate and every debate going forward is about the issues. she is continuing to focus on process which she’s entitled to do. We asked if she could focus on those issues and she chose not to come because I guess she can’t.”

Mitchell shot back, “She says that you said she can’t come.”

Wasserman Schultz replied, “That is simply not the case. What we said as my staff communicated to her staff is that she needed to focus on the issues and make a commitment to do that, and in fact, she said yesterday in a news interview that if she came, she would be a distraction so she chose not to come.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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