Tulsi Gabbard, Snubbed from Third Dem Debate, Slams ‘Lack of Transparency’ in Government, Says ‘American People Are Left Behind’

Hawaii lawmaker misses the cut for Democratic face-off in September — here's what she told Tucker Carlson of Fox News

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Democratic National Committee qualifying rules and the DNC’s use of specific polls to determine eligibility for the upcoming primary debate have put people like Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) on the defensive — as she’s one of those now left out.

This all but puts her try for the 2020 nomination under water.

“The whole thing gets a little bit confusing,” she told Fox News host Tucker Carlson of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Wednesday night, just before the final cut of 10 Democratic candidates had been announced.

“And you’ve got to jump way down into the weeds of the numbers and the statistics. But I think the bigger problem is that the whole process really lacks transparency,” she said. “People deserve having that transparency, because, ultimately, it’s the people who will decide who our Democratic nominee will be and ultimately who our next president, [our] commander-in-chief, will be. And when you see that lack of transparency, it creates, you know, a lack of faith and trust in the process.”

Related: Final Cut: These 10 Democrats Will Debate on September 12

“And I think this also points to a bigger issue and challenge that goes beyond the DNC and party politics is the government itself,” added the Iraq War veteran.

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She also said, “There are people who are increasingly losing that faith and trust in the government, because they see a lack of transparency there. They see that we don’t have a government that is of, by, and for the people. And, really, what they see is a small group of really powerful political elites, the Establishment, making decisions that serve their interests, and maintaining that power, while the rest of us are left outside. The American people are left behind. So, these these are the deeper-seated issues.”

“I don’t agree with everything you say,” said Carlson. “But I think you’ve got really interesting and important views on foreign policy that are underrepresented in Washington for reasons that I don’t understand.”

“For me as president,” she also projected, “I would seek to change [this process]. That we’d actually fulfill that vision that our Founders had for our country of having a government that is truly of, by and for the people, and making it so that people can trust that our leaders are listening to them and making decisions not based on partisanship, but based on serving their interests.”

Carlson noted that Gabbard did not “jump aboard the Hillary Clinton express [in 2016] immediately. Then, subsequently, we learned that there was some activity that looked a lot like rigging going on behind the scenes. I mean, parties do do this, have for a long time, in order to sort of steer one candidate toward victory and hamstring another.”

“Are you worried that that could be happening again?” Carlson asked her directly.

“Again, I’ve got some concerns about the process,” the Hawaii lawmaker replied. “And I think a lot of them go to that lack of transparency … Because when you have transparency, then people are able to say, OK, well, here’s the process. Here’s what’s going on. That’s not really what we’re seeing right now, especially around all these polls, and the qualifiers and the non-qualifiers for the debate.”

Related: Biden Couldn’t Remember Obama’s Name at Recent Campaign Stop

“For me, I can just say that … I’m going to continue focusing on speaking directly to voters across this country, connecting with them and recognizing that no matter what the powers that be in Washington say, the power lies in the hands of the people of this country.”

“All the people of this country, that when we exercise our voices — that’s how we can really bring about the kind of big systemic change that we need to see that goes far beyond just the next election,” she also said. “It goes back toward what I was talking about — is actually bringing the voices of the people to the forefront.”

Carlson said that he hoped “your voice is heard. I mean, I don’t agree with everything you say. But I think you’ve got really interesting and important views on foreign policy that are underrepresented in Washington for reasons that I don’t understand. Most of the country actually agrees with them. But no one in Washington does. And so, I hope that you can tell the country about what you think on those topics.”

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meet the author

Maureen Mackey served as editor-in-chief and managing editor of LifeZette for nearly five years. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary.

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