Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Tuesday took aim at presidential primary rival Sen. Kamala Harris, arguing the California Democrat “lacks the temperament” to be commander in chief.
“Kamala Harris is not qualified to serve as commander in chief and I can say this from a personal perspective as a soldier,” Gabbard said on Fox Sports Radio. “She has no background or experience in foreign policy and she lacks the temperament that is necessary for commander in chief.”
Harris has been the subject of increased attention after she made steep polling gains for confronting Democratic frontrunner former Vice President Joe Biden during the first round of presidential debates. Gabbard and Harris will share the debate stage during the second night of CNN’s Democratic primary debates on July 31.
Lily Adams, communications director for the Harris campaign, offered a terse response to Gabbard’s comments on Tuesday.
“Definite hard pass on taking national security advice from Assad’s cheerleader,” she said, drawing on Gabbard’s controversial meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in 2017.
Gabbard said Tuesday that Harris’ lack of military experience would continue a “dangerous” cycle that would exacerbate the US “military industrial complex.”
“I have seen the cost of war first hand and experienced the consequences of what happens when we have presidents from both political parties in the White House who lack experience and lack that foreign policy understanding,” she said, “who therefore fall under the influence of the foreign policy establishments and military industrial complex.”
“This is what is so dangerous and what we’ve seen over time,” she added.
But while Gabbard has attempted to let her service in the National Guard guide her White House bid, her campaign has largely been marked by low poll numbers and controversy surrounding her past views on gay marriage and LGBTQ equality. A CNN poll released earlier this month found Gabbard holds just 1% support.
Gabbard appeared to acknowledge the long odds of her presidential bid during her campaign launch speech in February.
“The road ahead will not be easy,” she said at the time. “The battles will be tough. The obstacles great, but I know when we stand united by our love for our people and for our country, there is no obstacle we cannot overcome.”