WASHINGTON — Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says she was snubbed.

When CNN announced Friday it was hosting a series of nationally televised town halls in New Hampshire, just days before the state’s Democratic primary, Gabbard was left off the list.

Eight candidates made the cut, including the four frontrunners — former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The other candidates invited to participate include Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, businessman Andrew Yang, billionaire Tom Steyer and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a late entry in the race who polls far behind the rest of the pack.

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says CNN hasn’t told her why she wasn’t invited to participate in a series of town halls in New Hampshire before the state’s primary.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Gabbard struggles in most national presidential polls — currently averaging around 1%, according to Real Clear Politics — but does better in New Hampshire where she’s taken up residence and spends significant amounts of time and money.

Over the weekend, Gabbard hit at least 5% in two polls conducted among likely Democratic primary voters in the Granite State.

Each poll — including one from from CNN and another from NBC/Marist that put her at 6% — counts toward qualifying her for the Democratic National Committee’s next debate scheduled for Feb. 7 in New Hampshire, only a few days before voters cast their ballots.

Gabbard’s campaign decried CNN’s decision to leave her out of the town hall mix in a fundraising email that bordered on conspiracy, saying that the “establishment” was out to get her for her criticism of mainstream media, the DNC and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who Gabbard once described as the “queen of the warmongers.”

Gabbard last week filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Clinton for comments she made that described the Hawaii congresswoman as a “favorite of the Russians.”

“If this seems like a blatant attempt by the establishment media to silence our voices right when we’re gaining strength, and rig the primary — it’s because it is,” Gabbard’s campaign said in its fundraising pitch.

“CNN won’t provide a reason for why it is refusing to give Tulsi the air time, but here’s a guess: They are making her pay for her vocal criticism of the Clinton War Machine, the corporate media and the DNC establishment elite.”

Civil Beat reached out to CNN to find out why Gabbard was not included in its town hall scheduled, but has yet to receive a response.

A critical time for local journalism . . .

Over 1,800 daily and weekly newspapers in the U.S. have ceased operations since 2004 — among them the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Weekly. Studies have shown that when local journalism disappears, government financing costs go up, fewer people run for public office, elected officials become less responsive to their constituents, and voter turnout decreases.

 

Our small nonprofit newsroom works hard every day to present local news in a deep and transparent way, without fear or favor.

 

We also rely on donations from readers like you to keep us afloat. The more support we receive; the stronger, more sustainable our journalism becomes; the more accountable we are to you. Please consider supporting our small newsroom with a tax-deductible gift.

About the Author