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Tulsi Gabbard: The Rest of Democratic Primary Field Has Embraced ‘Open Borders’

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami, Fla., June 26, 2019. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) derided her fellow Democratic presidential candidates during a recent interview for embracing permissive immigration policies, accusing them of support for “open borders.”

Asked if she believes “open borders” is a fair descriptor of the positions embraced by her Democratic primary opponents, Gabbard told YouTube host Dave Rubin that it was an accurate label and dismissed the oft-repeated Democratic rejoinder that conservatives use the phrase to tar their political adversaries.

“I don’t support open borders. Without secure borders, we don’t really have a country,” she said. “And while some of the other Democratic candidates will say ‘well, open borders that’s a conservative argument and that’s not really what’s being advocated for’ — if you look at the practical implications of some of the things they’re advocating for, it is essentially open borders.”

Long-shot presidential contender Julian Castro, the former secretary of housing and urban development under President Obama, managed to pull the Democratic primary field leftward on immigration during the campaign’s first debate, by asking those on stage to commit to decriminalizing illegal border crossings. All ten candidates on stage, with the notable exception of Beto O’Rourke, endorsed Castro’s plan, as did eight out of the ten candidates who took the stage the following night.

Gabbard — who failed to qualify for the third Democratic primary debate, scheduled for Thursday night — has grown increasingly vocal in her opposition to the Democratic establishment.

Appearing on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight last month, Gabbard slammed the Democratic National Committee, charging that there is a lack of transparency in the process that determines who makes the debate stage.

“I think the bigger problem is that the whole process really lacks transparency,” Gabbard said. “People deserve having that transparency because ultimately it’s the people who will decide who our Democratic nominee will be.”

The Army veteran went on to suggest that the lack of transparency furthers the perception that a group of connected political elites effectively chooses the president by winnowing the field absent voter input.

“Really what they see is a small group of really powerful political elites, the establishment making decisions that serve their interests and maintaining that power while the rest of us are left outside. The American people are left behind,” she said.

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