Just three days before the deadline to qualify for the latest round of presidential debates, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii says she won’t participate.
“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 Monday afternoon Hawaii time. “I instead choose to spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina.”
As of Monday, six candidates had met the donor and polling qualifications set by the Democratic National Committee: former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and billionaire Tom Steyer.
The bar for Democrats to qualify for the sixth debate, which will be in Los Angeles and hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico, is to have at least 200,000 unique donors and to reach either 4% in at least four national or early state polls or reach 6% in two early state polls.
Gabbard and businessman Andrew Yang are each one poll shy of qualifying for the forum this month.
Gabbard has long been critical of the DNC in general and, more recently, of its debate qualifications in particular.
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