Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has been thrust into the political spotlight after former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton appeared to accuse her of being a Russian asset. Many defended Gabbard from the accusation, including fellow presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson, as well as former candidate Beto O’Rourke.
During an appearance on The View Wednesday, Gabbard clashed with co-host Joy Behar, who previously called her a “useful idiot.” The Hawaii Representative brought up the accusations leveled against her in recent months and called out Behar in particular for her insult, Breitbart reports.
“I am a patriot. I love our country. I am a strong and intelligent woman of color, and I have dedicated almost my entire adult life to protecting the safety, the security and the freedom of all Americans in this country.”
In response, Behar highlighted the support Gabbard has received from anti-LGBTQ Christian evangelist Franklin Graham and white nationalist Richard Spencer, as well as her appearances on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Gabbard hit back and said that Behar and others are spreading “innuendos” that have “nothing to do” with who she is. She later called Clinton’s accusation “outrageous” and “offensive.”
“I have served as a member of Congress now for almost seven years, receiving high-level national security and intelligence briefings, serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Armed Services Committee, the Homeland Security Committee, working to ensure the safety and security of the people in this country.”
Gabbard concluded by citing her presidential run as a means to “continue that commitment of service.”
Clinton’s accusation was criticized by many public figures, including CNN’s Van Jones, who suggested that someone of the former Secretary of State’s stature should know better than to level such an accusation without providing any facts to back it up, per Mediaite.
Yang recently doubled down on his defense of Gabbard during an interview with HOT 97. The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur echoed Gabbard’s criticism of the innuendo in the attacks on the 38-year-old congresswoman. He suggested that Clinton should have supported her accusation with facts and expressed surprise at how casually Clinton was with the bombshell accusation.
Despite the attacks on her credibility, Gabbard appears to have somewhat benefitted from the drama, as her polling average experienced a boost after her spar with Clinton, per RealClearPolitics. Regardless, she gained no ground in a recent Monmouth poll, shining doubt on how much longevity such a boost has and whether it will be enough to help her stay in the race.