Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard seems to have California Sen. Kamala Harris’s number, especially since Wednesday night’s Democratic debate.
During the course of the night, Gabbard went after Harris on her record as a prosecutor and landed heavy blows on Harris’s seeming abuse of her power and treatment of minorities going through the justice system. It wasn’t a good look for Harris in the least, and Harris’s response wasn’t much better.
When given the chance to explain herself during an interview with CNN, Harris didn’t defend herself, but instead took a page out of a high schooler’s comeback book and made the case that she’s more popular than Gabbard so these attacks are expected. Harris then said she can’t take Gabbard seriously, claimed Gabbard was an Assad apologist and said she’s ready to move on.
The Hill later interviewed Gabbard to get her take on Harris’s comeback, and Gabbard had a good word to sum it up.
“Honestly, it’s pathetic that when confronted with the facts and the truth about her record that she claims to be proud of as a prosecutor, as attorney general of California, all she can do is lob cheap smears,” Gabbard said.
Gabbard said that Harris predicates her whole campaign on being a “champion for the people,” especially minorities, but that it’s “all a lie.”
“When she was in a position to do something about it, was in a position to make a difference and truly be a champion of the people, she furthered and perpetuated this unfair, unjust system,” she said.
Harris failed to respond to the The Hill on the subject, but Gabbard has apparently been making victory laps around various outlets, including Fox News and TMZ, the latter on which she repeated her stance that she gave to The Hill.
While Gabbard may now be the most Googled Democratic candidate after the strike against Harris, she’d be wise not to spend too much time aiming at Harris specifically. If her campaign becomes focused on one candidate, it will come off narrow and shallow.
It should also be noted that while Gabbard has people’s attention, it’s not equating to a bump in the polls for her. If she’s going to climb the polls at all, she should utilize this attention to come off as more of a presidential candidate than a scrapper.