As a presidential candidate, the whole point of running is to prove to the nation that you have what it takes to handle the tasks of the job and show everyone that you would be the best option of that role at this particular time. And for most candidates, that means getting yourself in front of as many people as possible. You participate in interviews, appear on talk shows, take road trips to all over, hold rallies, and put out all sorts of ads on just about every media channel available to make yourself known.
It only makes sense to put yourself out there, regardless of the background, personal beliefs, race, religion, or even political preference your audience has. The whole idea is to turn as many people in your direction as possible.
So why is it then that when one such candidate does this, she gets shamed for it?
This week Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard appeared on ABC’s “The View,” where host Joy Behar criticized her for her past interviews and appearances on Fox News.
Behar said, “You’re on state TV all the time. Why do you go to Fox channel, which is a propaganda network?”
The host went on to mention that Gabbard has been on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show no less than 16 times, and called Carlson himself was “a liar and a propagandist.”
Now coming from Beher, who co-hosts a show built on three women who seem to be paid to boast the left’s agenda, this seems a little duplicitous, if not wholly so.
But Gabbard covered herself with tact. She said, “I am here to speak to every single American in this country about the unifying leadership that I want to bring as president, not just to speak to those who agree with me, but to speak to those who may disagree with me, recognizing that I’m asking for the opportunity to serve every single person in this country.” And she added, “We have to come together for our country and our country’s future.”
Now we aren’t saying Gabbard is the one for the job or anything, but she does make an excellent point here. Any president if not just the leader of his or her own party or those that agree with them. They are the leader of all. All vote to elect him or her, and all have a say in our future. To only speak to those who already love you is lazy and cowardice.
What Gabbard has done, to speak to those she knows to take a stand against her takes guts.
But Behar doesn’t see it that way. Instead, she accused Gabbard of being what Hillary Clinton has suggested, “an unwitting asset” for the Russians. It seems that Behar read every word of the New York Times article, in which Lisa Lerer mentioned that Russian state TV has given a lot of air time to Gabbard. And in the eyes of many, including Clinton, David Plouffe, and now apparently Behar this makes her some sort of third-party candidate that allows the Russians to dip their fingers into our elections.
The host did clarify, “not that that means you’re stupid, but people can be used.”
But Gabbard didn’t buy her ruse. And she even called Behar out on it.
She said, “That’s exactly what it means, though.”
And continued, “Let me start with how offensive it is to say that I am a witting or unwitting asset of a foreign country, working against the interests of our people and our country, a country that I am willing to lay my life down for.” And indeed, she is willing to do so. Gabbard has served in the Army National Guard and has been deployed to both Iraq and Kuwait, making her the first female presidential candidate to have been in combat.
But Gabbard wasn’t finished with Behar. She continued, “So if you are saying it’s not deliberately, then you are implying that I am too stupid or too naïve and lack the intelligence to know what I am doing. That is extremely offensive to me and to every woman of color.”
Once again, we aren’t singing Gabbard’s praises here. But it should be noted that she should not be dragged through the mud for merely appearing in front of a news crew that doesn’t always like her.
And neither shouldn’t be accused of being a Russian “asset” just because she doesn’t fit the mold of every other progressive running.