Tulsi Gabbard and Kamala Harris Take the Gloves Off in Fifth Debate

In one of the few interesting moments of a largely-stagnant fifth Democratic primary debate on MSNBC, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard fiercely defended herself from attacks originating from Hillary Clinton, the Democratic establishment, and fellow candidate Sen. Kamala Harris. Accusing Harris of trafficking in “lies and smears and innuendos,” the Hawaiian congresswoman said that electing Harris to the White House would give Americans more of the “status quo.”

The blistering exchange began when moderators asked Gabbard about Hillary Clinton’s unprompted attack last month, where the former secretary of state told a podcaster that Russians were “grooming” Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate. Gabbard has fought back viciously against Clinton’s attacks, demanding that she issue a public retraction and apology, which she has yet to do.

“Our Democratic Party is not of or by the people,” Gabbard said. “I’m running for president to be the Democratic nominee that rebuilds our Democratic Party, and takes it out of their hands and truly puts it in the hands of the people in this country. And puts it in the hands of veterans and fellow Americans who are calling for an end to the Bush-Clinton-Trump foreign policy doctrine.”

Harris, who is struggling to stay in the primaries amid withering support, took the opportunity to make headlines by attacking Gabbard for her appearances on conservative media.

“You spent four years, full time, on Fox News criticizing President Obama,” said the California senator. “You’ve spent the course of this campaign criticizing the Democratic Party. What we need in November is someone on this stage who has the ability to win, someone 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 country back together.”

Gabbard didn’t take the attack lying down, firing back: “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. Which makes me guess that she will, as president, continue with the status quo.”

Harris, however, who is far more favored by the liberal media, was given the last word in the exchange, insisting that “what our nation needs right now is a nominee who can speak to all people.”

But if an impartial observer were to determine who, between Harris and Gabbard, was better positioned to unify the nation, it’s hard to imagine anyone would pick Harris.

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