There has been a lot of discussion of the unusual support Tulsi Gabbard has received from Republicans and from Russia. Gabbard has been more critical of the Democratic Party and Democratic presidential candidates than anyone else in the 2020 race. Now, Hillary Clinton is charging that Gabbard will run as a third-party candidate, in order to be a spoiler, to give Trump the election—as Ralph Nader spoiled Al Gore’s chances in 2000, and Jill Stein siphoned off critical liberal votes in close states in 2016.
We’ll get back to Gabbard’s triangulation between the DNC and Trump, but first, let’s look at whether Gabbard is even eligible to run for president. Trump was the main voice behind the “Birther” battle. claiming that Barack Obama was ineligible, due to the Constitution’s clause that a president must be a “natural born” citizen of the United States:
“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President”
The term has been debated. Does it mean that the actual birth must occur in one of the 50 states? Or is it enough that the parents are Americans—and does that mean both parents? In 2016, there was some discussion that Ted Cruz was ineligible, being born in Canada. There was a lawsuit regarding Cruz, and another, involving Marco Rubio, whose parents were not American citizens at the time of his birth. Some scholars claim that “natural born” means not only born inside the United States but also having generations of American citizenship behind them. It’s such a contentious issue that it’s certain to come up regarding Gabbard, especially in a race that would include the “Birther-in-Chief,” Donald Trump.
Gabbard was born in American Samoa. It’s not a State. It’s not even incorporated. It’s just an American “territory,” located near Australia. Also known as “Amerika Samoa, Amelika Samoa or Samoa Amelika,” residents do not have birthright citizenship, and are not allowed to vote in American elections. And it has its own, separate, self-governing Constitution. Is it possible that Republicans are promoting Gabbard so that they can start a whole new “Birther” issue?
Back to Hillary (must we??), the 2016 Democratic candidate has brought up a new claim that Gabbard is only in the Democratic primary race to cause trouble, and that when she loses, she will bolt the party to deny any Democrat from winning. The Washington Examiner calls it crazy, quoting none other than Donald Trump, coming to her aid.
“So now Crooked Hillary is at it again! She is calling Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard ‘a Russian favorite,’ and Jill Stein ‘a Russian asset,'” he tweeted Saturday night. “As you may have heard, I was called a big Russia lover also (actually, I do like Russian people. I like all people!). Hillary’s gone Crazy!”
Gabbard then attacked Hillary—
calling her “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”
That is not likely to sit well with many Democrats, especially minorities, who have great respect and admiration for Bill Clinton, even if Hillary is lacking in that regard.
Russia has lots of experience in media censorship. So perhaps it is logical that Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) hires an agent of the Russian government as a ‘consultant’ to keep Hawaii media under control.
But Gabbard’s consultant, Chris Cooper of the Potomac Square Group, is no ordinary Russian agent. Cooper is allegedly one of seven identified as being at the center of illegal Russian lobbying efforts reaching into the Trump campaign and Congress.
Gabbard has used “Trump’s rhetoric” to fight back at “fake news” in the “mainstream media,” but there’s no question that the Russians have been cheering for her. The UK’s Independent notes that the Russians have cheered Gabbard’s support of Trump’s recent moves in Syria–when almost no one else has.
In fact, “Experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia” have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.
Since Gabbard announced her intention to run on Jan. 11, there have been at least 20 Gabbard stories on three major Moscow-based English-language websites affiliated with or supportive of the Russian government: RT, the Russian-owned TV outlet; Sputnik News, a radio outlet; and Russia Insider, a blog that experts say closely follows the Kremlin line. The CIA has called RT and Sputnik part of “Russia’s state-run propaganda machine.”. . .
The coverage devoted to Gabbard, both in news and commentary, exceeds that afforded to any of the declared or rumored Democratic candidates despite Gabbard’s lack of voter recognition. Gabbard was mentioned on the three sites about twice as often as two of the best known Democratic possibilities for 2020, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. . .
Experts in Russian on-line propaganda say Gabbard appeals to pro-Russian sites because her positions —and her appeal as an outsider in her own party — can be used to create division among Democrats.
Israelis are also down on Gabbard, according to Haaretz which printed an opinion piece, “Tulsi Gabbard Unites Putin Apologists, Bloodstained Modi, Genocidal Assad, and the U.S. Far Right.”
Gabbard was considered for a position in the Trump Administration at the outset, and Pat Buchanan recently suggested that she should take the place of fired/resigned John Bolton, but Gabbard has parted with Trump on a few issues.
She also parted ways with Trump regarding Saudi Arabia, saying that being Saudi Arabia’s b*tch is not “America First,” according to the Washington Examiner
No other Democratic candidate has such ardent supporters and detractors. That has gotten her lots of media coverage (here and abroad), from both right- and left-leaning media. But if she can ever break over “two percent” support, either as a Democrat or third-party candidate, the “Birther” issue is sure to surface. Again-again-again.