As reported by ABC Politics‘ Kendall Karson, Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently filed for the Texas 2020 ballot, which comes with the requirement of signing a pledge to support the Democratic Party’s eventual nominee. Although all candidates must sign the pledge, Gabbard’s signing is notable as it undermines rumors that she is considering a third-party run.
Per CNN, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested that Russia is “grooming” Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate and push their interests. Even before the former secretary of state’s controversial comment, the Hawaii representative has been accused of being cozy with Russia.
Although Gabbard’s platform takes aim at what she believes are problems with the current Democratic Party platform — including regime-changing wars — she has repeatedly denied planning an independent candidacy. Even Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), has attempted to put the rumors to rest, Associated Press reported.
“Tulsi Gabbard and every single candidate running for president understands that it’s not about them,” he said, noting that Gabbard has pledged not to run as a third-party candidate.
“It’s about something much bigger,” he added.
Gabbard believes that the attacks on her candidacy are revenge for stepping down from her position at the DNC to support then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders instead of the committee’s choice, Clinton. The 38-year-old congresswoman expressed this belief after Clinton accused her of being a Russian asset.
“From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose.”
Afterward, Gabbard challenged Clinton to stop “cowardly” hiding behind her proxies and join the primary to face-off against her.
Tulsi Gabbard, who has batted away speculation about a potential third-party run, filed for the Texas 2020 ballot, which requires each Democratic candidate to sign a pledge to support the party's eventual nominee “whoever that shall be.”
She signed. pic.twitter.com/4RNZ3KEK6b
— Kendall Karson (@kendallkarson) December 9, 2019
During an appearance on The View in November, Gabbard was forced to defend herself in the wake of Clinton’s accusations. Per The Daily Beast, the presidential candidate said it was “offensive” to imply that she is a “witting or unwitting asset of a foreign country.” Gabbard added that if the accusations assume she is not deliberately being used by a foreign power, they are implying she is not intelligent or experienced enough to know what she’s doing.
“And that is extremely offensive to me and to every woman of color,” she said.
Later during the appearance, she suggested that the attacks against her are rooted in the fact that she is “speaking truth to power.”