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Tulsi Hits Home Run in a Debate Rigged Against Her

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Tulsi Gabbard
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Right from the beginning of the first Presidential debate, it was clear that the debate was aimed as a promotional for Elizabeth Warren. During the first half, Warren was often addressed first on the major issues. Candidates were asked to compare their positions to those of Warren.

To a large applause, Tulsi came out strong on the first question and addressed the key issues important to most Americans. This is important as she she was not asked about most of these issues during the debate.

Here is Tulsi's First answer:

"First, of all, let's recognize the situation we're in, that the American People deserve a President who will put your interests ahead of the rich and powerful. That's not what we have right now.

"I enlisted in the Army National Guard after the Al Qaida terror attacks on 9/11 so I could go after those who had attacked us on that day. I still serve as a major. I served over 16 years, deployed twice to the Middle East, and in Congress served on the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Affairs for over six years.

"I know the importance of our national security, as well as the terribly high cost of war. And for too long, our leaders have failed us, taking us from one regime change war to the next, leading us into a new cold war and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned taxpayer dollar and countless lives.

"This insanity must end. As President, I will take your hard-earned taxpayer dollars and instead invest those dollars into serving your needs, things like health care, a green economy, good-paying jobs, protecting our environment and so many more."

This was followed by a thunderous applause. The audience eagerly waited for more Tulsi but was disappointed by the debate hosts on most issues.

On climate change and the environment, where Tulsi has the most progressive legislation with the Off Act (which takes us off fossil fuels and nuclear power), Tulsi was denied the chance to answer the question. On immigration, where Tulsi has the most solid solution, she was denied the chance to answer the question. On the discussion of the drug war and prison, where Tulsi has introduced legislation to legalize marijuana, she was denied the chance to answer the question. On the wealth gap, where she is a leader on the issue, she was denied the chance to answer the question. Others, such as Warren, Corey Booker, and Beto O'Rourke, were given domestic policy questions in area after area while Tulsi was routinely denied the chance to answer, even when she raised her hand. By the end of the first section, other than her introduction, she had only been given one short comment on a question.

Liz Warren
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Much later, she was asked an attack question, based on her parents' position and her childhood position on LGBTQ rights, though Tuls has the strongest pro-LBGTQ voting record (100%) of anyone on the stage, her parents were effectively put on trial in the debate. Tulsi talked about how, in the Iraq War, she risked her life for her LBGTQ brothers and sisters and they would have risked their lives for her. She spoke of her 100% pro- LBGTQ record. Note that Warren was not asked about the fact that she was a Republican until age 47 or about the animosity she showed towards the Palestinian people in her 2016 letter to Barrack Obama, demanding he increase funding to Israel's military. Booker was not asked about his votes against importing prescription medicine (which would have lowered drug prices) or his record of receiving donations from Big Pharma. But Tulsi was attacked on an issue that related to her parents and her youth.

Corey Booker was allowed to jump in after she answered and say that risking her life for her LBGTQ brothers and sisters and her 100% record of supporting the LBGTQ community was not enough. When had Booker, who has a weaker voting record, ever risked his life for anyone?

Though Booker was allowed to attack Tulsi who had risked her very life for others, Tulsi was not given a chance to rebut or respond to Booker's comments.

Tulsi was the only candidate hit with an attack question from the hosts and the only candidate was attacked by another debater without an opportunity to defend herself.

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Henry has been a professor of political science and legal ethics and an advisor to many successful candidates for public office. He is currently working on a book about the inequality crisis in America.
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