Gabbard vs. Harris: "Our Democratic Party, Unfortunately, Is Not The Party That Is Of, By And for The People" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Gabbard vs. Harris: "Our Democratic Party, Unfortunately, Is Not The Party That Is Of, By And for The People"

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tangled on the debate stage Wednesday night after the Congresswoman declared the current Democratic party is "not the party that is of, by, and for the people" but a party that is influenced by the "foreign policy establishment" represented by Hillary Clinton.

"That our Democratic Party, unfortunately, is not the party that is of, by, and for the people," Gabbard said at the debate hosted by MSNBC. "It is a party that has been and continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington represented by Hillary Clinton and others foreign policy, by the military-industrial complex and other greedy corporate interests."





"I'm running for president to be the Democratic nominee that rebuilds our Democratic Party, takes it out of their hands, and truly puts it in the hands of the people of this country, a party that actually hears the voices of Americans who are struggling all across this country," Gabbard promised.

Following her comments, Harris jumped into to criticize Gabbard for appearing on FOX News and "criticizing President Obama." Harris also knocked the Congresswoman for meeting with then-president elect Donald Trump and failing to call Assad a war criminal

"It's unfortunate that we have someone on the stage who is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States who, during the Obama administration, spent four years full-time on Fox News criticizing President Obama," Harris said.

"What Senator Harris is doing is unfortunately continuing to traffic in lies and smears and innuendos because she cannot challenge the substance of the argument that I am making," Gabbard shot back.

ASHLEY PARKER, MSNBC DEBATE MODERATOR, WASHINGTON POST WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Congresswoman Gabbard, you have criticized Hillary Clinton as the "Personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party." What is the rot you see in the Democratic Party partying?

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI): That our Democratic Party, unfortunately, is not the party that is of, by, and for the people. It's the--it is a party that has been and continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington represented by Hillary Clinton and others foreign policy, by the military-industrial complex and other greedy corporate interests. I'm running for president to be the Democratic nominee that rebuilds our Democratic Party, takes it out of their hands, and truly puts it in the hands of the people of this country, a party that actually hears the voices of Americans who are struggling all across this country, and puts it in the hands of veterans and fellow Americans who are calling for an end to this ongoing Bush-Clinton-Trump foreign policy doctrine of regime change wars, overthrowing dictators in other countries, needlessly sending my brothers and sisters in uniform into harm's way to fight in wars that actually undermine our national security and have cost us thousands of American lives.

These are wars that have cost us as American taxpayers trillions of dollars since 9/11 alone, dollars that have come out of our pockets, out of her hospitals, out of our schools, out of our infrastructure needs. As president, I will end this foreign policy, and these regime change wars, work to end this new Cold War an arms race, and instead invest our hard earned taxpayer dollars actually into it serving the needs--

PARKER: --Thank you--

GABBARD: --Of the American people--

PARKER: --Thank you, Congresswoman--

GABBARD: --Right here at home.

PARKER: Senator Harris, any response?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): Oh, sure.

(LAUGHTER)

I--I think that it--it's unfortunate that we have someone on the stage who is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States who, during the Obama administration, spent four years full-time on Fox News criticizing President Obama.

GABBARD: That's ridiculous--

HARRIS: --Who has spent full-time--

GABBARD: --That's ridiculous--

(APPLAUSE)

HARRIS: --Who has spent full time criticizing people on this stage as affiliated with the Democratic Party when--

HARRIS: --Donald Trump was elected, not even sworn in, buddied up to Steve Bannon to get a meeting with Donald Trump in the Trump Tower. Fails to call a war criminal by what he is as a war criminal and then spends full time during the course of this campaign again, criticizing the Democratic Party.

What we need on the stage in November is someone who has the ability to win. And by that, we need someone on that stage who has the ability to go toe to toe with Donald Trump and someone who has the ability to rebuild the Obama Coalition and bring the party and the nation together. I believe I am that candidate.

PARKER: Thank you, senator.

(APPLAUSE)

GABBARD: What Senator Harris is doing is unfortunately continuing to traffic in lies and smears and innuendos because she cannot challenge the substance of the argument that I am making--the leadership and the change that I am seeking to bring in our foreign policy, which only makes me guess that she will, as president continue the status quo, continue the Bush, Clinton foreign policy of regime change wars. Which is--is deeply destructive. This is personal to me because I served in Iraq.

I left my seat in the state legislature in Hawaii, volunteered to deploy to Iraq where I served in a medical unit where every single day I saw the terribly high human cost of war. I take very seriously the responsibility that the president has to serve as commander in chief, to lead our armed forces and to make sure always no, I am not going to put party interest first I am going to--

PARKER: Thank you.

(CROSS-TALK)

Thank you congresswoman. I want to briefly give Senator Harris a final second to respond.

HARRIS: I believe that what our nation needs right now is a nominee who can speak to all people. I spent my entire career standing mostly in a courtroom speaking five words, Kamala Harris, for the people. And it was about tall the people regardless for their race, regardless of their gender, regardless of where they lived geographically--regardless of the party in which they are registered to vote or the language their grandmother speaks.

We need someone on this debate stage in November who has the ability to unify the country and to win the election. And I believe again, I am that candidate.

PARKER:
Thank you, senator.

HARRIS:
Thank you.

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