Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday threatened to boycott the Democratic presidential debate next week to protest what she called the Democratic National Committee’s attempt to rig the primary election.
Ms. Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat and presidential hopeful, said the DNC and corporate media were scheming to “usurp” the voters’ role in picking the nominee, similar to the rigging of the 2016 primary to thwart the candidacy of Sen. Bernard Sanders.
“In this 2020 election, the DNC and corporate media are rigging the election again, but this time against the American people in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada,” Ms. Gabbard said in a video posted on her website.
“They are attempting to replace the roles of voters in the early states, using polling and other arbitrary methods which are not transparent or democratic, and holding so-called debates which are not debates at all but rather commercialized reality television meant to entertain, not inform or enlighten,” she said. “In short, the DNC and corporate media are trying to hijack the entire election process.”
Ms. Gabbard is among 12 candidates who qualified for the debate Tuesday in Westerville, Ohio.
Her campaign has struggled in the low single digits in the polls. After failing to qualify for the September debate in Houston, Ms. Gabbard was one of the last candidates to meet the DNC’s tougher requirements to get into the Ohio debate.
She was “seriously considering” boycotting the event.
The DNC has made a strenuous effort to make the debate and primary process transparent after the 2016 debacle in which it party officials plotted to boost Hillary Clinton by derailing Mr. Sanders’ campaign.
The DNC did not immediately respond to Ms. Gabbard’s claims.
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