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Sparks flew between Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as they got into another heated exchange during the fifth Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday.
Gabbard began her remarks by saying the Democrats are no longer the party “that is of, by and for the people.” Harris said that it was “unfortunate” that Gabbard was on stage because of her criticisms of the Democratic party and of former President Barack Obama.
“I think that it’s unfortunate that we have someone on this stage that 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.
“Who has been full time criticizing people on this stage as affiliated with the Democratic Party. When Donald Trump was elected, not even sworn in, buddied up to Steve Bannon to get a meeting with Donald Trump in the Trump Tower.”
Harris added Gabbard “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 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’m making, the leadership and the change that I’m 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-Trump foreign policy of regime change wars, which is deeply destructive,” Gabbard shot back.
Last month, Clinton claimed Gabbard is a “favorite of the Russians.”
“They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” Clinton said, adding that Republicans “know they can’t win without a third-party candidate, and so I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they’ll have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most need it.”
Gabbard responded with defiance in a series of tweets that referred to Clinton as “the queen of warmongers.”
“Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton,” Gabbard tweeted.
“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 also blasted what she called the “concerted campaign to destroy my reputation” and blamed Clinton — along with her “powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine” — for being behind it.
Finally, the Hawaii lawmaker challenged Clinton to run again herself.
“Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.”