Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) just made it back into the Democratic presidential debates, but now, she's threatening to not show up.
Gabbard in a video released Thursday said she's "seriously considering" boycotting the Democratic primary debate scheduled for Oct. 15, which she qualified for after not making the stage in September's debate. She claims the Democratic National Committee and the media "are rigging the election" using "polling and other arbitrary methods" that are "not transparent and not democratic."
Gabbard had previously taken issue with the criteria by which the DNC determines which candidates will qualify for the debates. For the October debate, candidates needed to reach two percent support in four qualifying polls and have at least 130,000 unique donors. In a recent interview with The Hill, the Hawaii Democrat argued there has been "a lack of transparency in that whole process about which polls are selected." A DNC spokesperson pointed out to The Hill that the criteria for the October debate was laid out in May.
In the video, Gabbard also criticizes the "so-called" debates in general as "really not debates at all" but rather "commercialized reality television meant to entertain rather than to inform or enlighten," concluding by keeping viewers on the hook and teasing a final decision within "the next few days." Considering the debate is only five days away, the announcement may end up being quite last minute.
Either way, this could potentially be Gabbard's last chance for such a stunt, as with the DNC having recently increased the polling threshold to three percent, she has yet to qualify for the fifth debate set for Nov. 20. Brendan Morrow