WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced Thursday that she’s considering a boycott of next week’s Democratic National Committee presidential debate in Westerville, Ohio.

She says the process is “rigged.”

On Thursday, the Hawaii congresswoman issued a video statement in which she accused both the DNC and “corporate” media of trying to “usurp” the role of voters when it comes to selecting the nominee who will take on Donald Trump in 2020.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard announces her run for president.
Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard might skip out on next week’s debate. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“The 2016 Democratic Primary election was rigged by the DNC and their partners in the corporate media against Bernie Sanders,” Gabbard said.

“In this 2020 election, the DNC and corporate media are rigging the election again, but this time against the American people in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.”

Gabbard, who is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, has struggled to break through in a crowded field of candidates that includes the likes of Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and businessman Andrew Yang.

She missed out on the debate in September because she couldn’t meet the DNC’s 2% polling requirements at the time.

Gabbard barely met the threshold to participate in next week’s debate.

She’s in danger of missing out in November, however, because the DNC has increased the polling requirements to qualify for the debate stage to 3% in four polls or 5% in two surveys in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.

According to Real Clear Politics, which tracks both DNC qualifying polls and other surveys, Gabbard’s national polling average is less than 1%.

In Iowa and New Hampshire, however, states where she spends significant time and money, she does better. Her averages in those states are 2.3% and 3.7% respectively. Gabbard only averages 1% in Nevada and South Carolina.

The DNC and the press are frequent foils for Gabbard. She’s also sued Google, accusing the tech giant of trying to silence her. 

Gabbard has said the DNC polling requirements lack transparency and could be part of a broader conspiracy against her.

She’s also accused the press of “anti-Tulsi bias” despite the fact she frequently appears on national television to discuss issues important to her and her campaign, such as foreign policy and her opposition to U.S. involvement in regime-change wars.

“They are attempting to replace the roles of voters in the early states, using polling and other arbitrary methods which are not transparent or democratic, and holding so-called debates which are not debates at all but rather commercialized reality television meant to entertain, not inform or enlighten,” Gabbard said.

“In short, the DNC and corporate media are trying to hijack the entire election process.”

Gabbard said she will make a final decision on whether to boycott next week’s debate in the coming days.

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