POLITICS

Tulsi Gabbard Refuses To Attend Next Debate Even If She Qualifies

The presidential candidate threatened to skip the October debate before reversing course and showing up.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) announced Monday that she will skip the next Democratic presidential primary debate even if she makes the cut.

“For a number of reasons, I have decided not to attend the December 19th ‘debate’ ― regardless of whether or not there are qualifying polls,” she tweeted. “I instead choose to spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

So far, only six candidates have secured a spot on the stage ― former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer.

To be invited, candidates must have 200,000 unique donor contributions, and meet one of two polling requirements ― four polls at a minimum of 4% in national surveys or in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, or two polls at a minimum of 6% in those states.

Gabbard has enough donors, but is still in need of one more poll in either category. The deadline is Thursday.

The congresswoman’s apparent skepticism of the debate is par for the course as she has repeatedly complained about the electoral process, claiming it is rigged against her campaign. In October, she threatened to skip the fourth debate, criticizing the use of “polling and other arbitrary methods” as qualifying measures while accusing “corporate media” of attempting to “hijack” the 2020 election. Reversing course, she decided to show up at the debate days later.

Gabbard’s campaign did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the reasons for her absence from the upcoming debate.

In late October, Gabbard, who has had trouble getting her presidential bid off the ground while polling at a national average of less than 1%, announced she would not seek reelection to Congress.

CONVERSATIONS