DNC to Change Debate Rules as Tulsi Gabbard Reaches Delegate Requirement

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii speaks to Democrats gathered at the Spratt Issues Conference in Greenville, S.C., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
Meg Kinnard/AP Photo

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) affirmed on Tuesday that the requirements to participate in upcoming Democrat debates will go up — a sign that the DNC will forgo the rule that allowed a candidate to participate in a debate if he or she had a single pledged delegate.

The news coincides with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) gaining a delegate from American Samoa on Super Tuesday.

“We have two more debates– of course the threshold will go up,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said on Tuesday.

“By the time we have the March debate, almost 2,000 delegates will be allocated. The threshold will reflect where we are in the race, as it always has,” she added:

The announcement drew heavy criticism on social media, with several users accusing the DNC of shutting Gabbard out of the race.

“God forbid Tulsi gets back on the debate, right?” one asked.

“Funny how you waited, then, to make this change until *after* Tulsi earned a delegate,” another observed. “I’m not sure which I hate more, the DNC for this continued primary/debate rigging, or the voters who will just be good little sheep and vote for your corrupt party anyway.”

Another called the move “utterly corrupt,” and another mused, “Translation: We have to do everything we can do keep Tulsi off the debate stage.”

Gabbard has battled the Democrat establishment over the course of her presidential bid. She told reporters in January that CNN never gave her an explanation as to why it excluded her from its series of town halls with Democrat candidates — candidates including Deval Patrick, whose performance fell below Gabbard’s in the national polls.

The lawmaker also took aim at Karl Rove and Dana Perino on Tuesday over a Fox News segment featuring former President George W. Bush’s deputy chief of staff suggesting that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was the only woman left in the Democrat primary race.

“.@DanaPerino I’m not quite sure why you’re telling FOX viewers that Elizabeth Warren is the last female candidate in the Dem primary,” she said, taking a shot at Warren.

“Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is ‘real’ and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake?” she asked:


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