Tulsi Gabbard Sticks It to DNC, Refuses to Attend December Debate

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, listens as family members of victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 speak during a news conference at the 9/11 Tribute Museum, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) on Monday announced that, regardless of qualifying polls, she will not attend the December 19 Democrat debate.

Gabbard, who has faced criticism from key members of the Democrat Party throughout her presidential bid, announced on Monday that even if she meets the polling requirement to qualify in the upcoming debate, she will not attend. Instead, she will “spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

“For a number of reasons, I have decided not to attend the December 19th ‘debate’ — regardless of whether or not there are qualifying polls,” she announced.

“I instead choose to spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina,” she added:

In order to qualify for the Los Angeles debate, a candidate must report at least 200,000 unique donors and garner either six percent support in two early state polls or reach four percent in four national or early state polls. At this point, only six candidates have qualified: Joe Biden (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Steyer (D), and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D). While Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) qualified, she dropped out of the race last week.

Gabbard has met the donor threshold and is only one poll away from qualifying. Regardless, she will not participate.

The remaining candidates have until December 12 to qualify.

Democrats have faced scrutiny from their own side over the racial composition of the current debate lineup. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said he was “a little angry” after Harris dropped out because they originally “started with one of the most diverse fields in our history.”

“And we’re spiraling towards a debate stage that potentially … could have six people with no diversity whatsoever,” Booker told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes last week.

“What we’re staring at is a DNC debate stage with no people of color on it,” Julián Castro (D) said. “That does not reflect the diversity of our party or our country. We need to do better than that”:



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