Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) came out swinging against Hillary Clinton’s charge that she is a “Russian asset” who will throw next year’s presidential election to President Donald Trump by running as a third-party candidate.
”I’m not making any predictions, but I think [the Russians have] got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton told David Plouffe on last Tuesday’s Campaign HQ podcast.
Clinton didn’t mention Gabbard by name, but it was clear to whom she was referring. Gabbard, after all, has been critical of U.S. intervention in Syria (and elsewhere) and, unlike the rest of the Democratic field, is not belligerent toward Moscow.
On Friday, Gabbard sarcastically thanked Clinton for making her opinion public. “You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain,” Gabbard tweeted. She charged Clinton with being behind “a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation” and urged her to join the primary race “directly” instead of “hid[ing] behind your proxies” in the media and government.
Two days later, Gabbard posted a combative video on Twitter, taking on not just Clinton but the entire Democratic Party establishment.
“People warned me in 2016 that my endorsement of Bernie Sanders would be the end of my ‘political career,’’’ Gabbard said in the video. “They said, ‘Clinton will never forget,’ that ‘she and her rich, powerful friends, her allies in politics and in the media will make sure that you are destroyed.’”
During the 2016 election, Gabbard resigned from the Democratic National Committee, claiming that the committee was rigging the primary against Sanders and in favor of Hillary, a contention borne out by later WikiLeaks revelations. Undoubtedly this made her persona non grata with Clinton.
“There have been countless hit pieces full of smears against me from day one of this campaign,” Gabbard continued. “They’ve tried to destroy my reputation and my lifetime of service because I stood up to them.”
In the October 15 Democratic debate, Gabbard detailed some recent false stories: “Just two days ago the New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears. This morning a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable.”
Gabbard also took aim at Clinton during the debate, saying, “I don’t see deplorables. I see fellow Americans worthy of respect even when we disagree strongly.”
In her Twitter video, Gabbard listed her foreign-policy bona fides: 16 years in the Army National Guard, including two voluntary tours of duty in the Middle East, and seven years in Congress, including service on the House Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Homeland Security committees. “I am not afraid to openly express my love for our country,” she declared — a marked contrast with others seeking the Democratic nomination, who, like Clinton, seem to have contempt for the United States and many of its citizens.
“If they can falsely portray me as a traitor, then they can do it to anyone,” Gabbard asserted in her video.
She further stated that she is running for president “to bring about a new Democratic Party, a new leadership that will fight for peace, fight for the people, and protect our planet.” She asked viewers to support her “to end the war machine’s stranglehold over our leaders.”
No one would confuse Gabbard with a conservative constitutionalist; her lifetime score on The New American’s Freedom Index is just 30 percent. But she gets it right most often when it comes to foreign policy and the national-security state, which is why former Congressman Ron Paul (Freedom Index score: 97 percent) said Gabbard “is the very, very best” of the Democratic presidential candidates, maintaining that she presents “the best chance for bringing about peace.”
That, of course, explains why Clinton and the rest of the Democratic establishment are out to get her. Unfortunately for them, they made the mistake of picking on a combat veteran. It’s going to take more than a few hit pieces to scare off Major Tulsi Gabbard.
Photo: AP Images