HomeAsian AmericansKamala Harris slams Tulsi Gabbard; Andrew Yang marginalized in MSNBC Democratic debate

Kamala Harris slams Tulsi Gabbard; Andrew Yang marginalized in MSNBC Democratic debate

Gabbard Tulsi squares off with Kamala Harris during November 2019 Democratic Presidential debate

Views from the Edge

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Kamala Harris do not like each other. Their mutual dislike showed up when the two presidential aspirants clashed during the Wednesday debate among 10 of the candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

When asked to explain her attack against the 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in which Gabbard called the former Secretary of State the “rot” of the Democraic Party, the Hawaii congressmember said the Democrats “is not the party that is of, by and for the people.”

The Samoan American lawmaker said she was running to end the “Bush-Clinton-Trump foreign policy doctrine of regime-change wars.” Sure enough, before the debate was over, Gabbard’s remark was tweeted out alongside a 100 emoji by the official Trump War Room Twitter account linked to the president’s reelection campaign. 

The MSNBC panel asked Harris to respond to Gabbard’s remarks and, she didn’t hold back.

“It’s unfortunate that we have someone on this stage … who during the Obama administration spent four years on Fox News criticizing President Obama,” Harris answered. 

Harris noted that Gabbard had met with Donald Trump during the transition period after the 2016 election, saying she “buddied up to Steve Bannon to get a meeting” with Trump and criticized Gabbard for her unwillingness to label Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad a “war criminal.”

“What we need on this stage, in November, is someone who has the ability to win,” said Harris.

“When Donald Trump was elected, not even sworn in, (Gabbard) buddied up to Steve Bannon to get a meeting with Trump in the Trump Tower, fails to call a war criminal by what he is — a war criminal — and then spends full time during the course of this campaign again criticizing the Democratic Party.”

Instead of explaining herself, Gabbard called Harris’ remarks as lies and smears. She then wheeled back to her safe place by bringing up her military service.

Some called Harris’ attack on Gabbard was payback for the second debate when Harris was caught by surprise when Gabbard blindsided the California Senator on her record as San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s Attorney General. Since that debate, Harris’ poll numbers have been falling, dropping Harris out of the top tier of candidates.

Harris’s performance was her best since the June debate when she criticized Joe Biden for his work with segregationists, allowing her to bring up a personal story of being bussed for school.

Later in the debate, Gabbard stumbled again when she clashed with Mayor Pete Buttigeig, who has risen in the polls to put himself among the top three candidates. Gabbard said that Buttigeig proposed sending US military into Mexico to fight the drug cartels. Buttigeig said that comment was taken out of context. When discussing future alliances with Mexico, he said that would include military assistance if asked, as the US provides with many of its allies.

Buttigieg counterattacked, saying that he has “enough judgment that I would not have sat down with a murderous dictator like” Syrian President Bashar Assad, with whom Gabbard met in 2017.

The third AAPI candidate, Andrew Yang, was largely ignored by the moderators. It wasn’t until 32 minutes into the debate when he was asked a question.

Yang’s marginalization was not imaginary. He was allowed only 6:53 minutes of speaking time. Meanwhile, Warren was given twice as much time, according to NBC.

His supporters began using social media with the hashtag #LetYangSpeak needling the moderators emphasis on Warren, Biden and Buttigeig.
Brian Yang, a regional fundraiser for Andrew Yang tweeted out the marginalization of the candidate “systemic racism.”

Yang’s best line of the evening came late in the debate when the entrepreneur was asked what he would say to Russian President Vladimir Putin if Yang won the presidency.

The audience laughed when Yang responded: “Well, I’d say, ‘Sorry, I beat your guy …'”

Yang followed up by saying he would make clear to Putin “the days of meddling in American elections are over.”

The moderators seemed to focus on Warren, asking her questions about her health plan for the first 20 minutes of the debate and allowing her to rebut criticisms from other candidates.

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