Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the congresswoman who resigned from a top Democratic Party post after protesting a lack of debates between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, is now refusing to debate her own Democratic opponent.
Arguing for more debates between Sanders and Hillary last October, Gabbard told MSNBC, “We’ve gotta have more opportunities for people to present their vision for our country, their plans, and to be held accountable for the positions that they’re taking.” After months of dissent over the Democratic debate schedule, Gabbard stepped down from her position as a Democratic National Committee vice chairwoman to endorse Sanders.
But now that Gabbard is being challenged by progressive activist Shay Chan Hodges, she is refusing to even respond to a request for debates.
Last week Chan Hodges reached out privately to Gabbard’s campaign coordinator, Alana Penaroza, requesting four debates throughout the state of Hawaii, asking for a response by Monday.
Gabbard has not responded to the Shay Hodges campaign’s request. The congresswoman did, however, send out a fundraising appeal Monday morning. Requests for comment to her campaign coordinator, her campaign office, and her congressional office remained unanswered.
“I am disappointed although not completely surprised that Tulsi Gabbard has not responded to the invitation to debate that I sent her last Wednesday,” Chan Hodges told The Daily Beast. “I agree with Rep. Gabbard that conducting debates during a primary is critically important… That is why I urge Rep. Gabbard to remember the arguments she made for additional debates on Fox News and other media outlets and apply them to her own election.”