WASHINGTON: With its internecine policy battles and personality clashes already on public display during numerous Presidential election debates, the Democratic Party was scorched again this week by a flaming row between stalwart Hillary Clinton and upstart Tulsi Gabbard, much to the delight of Republicans.
The war of words was sparked off by an ad hominem attack by Hillary Clinton on a podcast in which she suggested that Gabbard, a Hindu-American Congresswoman from Hawaii, is being groomed by Russia for the White House.
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” Clinton said on a podcast hosted by David Plouffe, a former aide to President Barack Obama.
Although she did not name Gabbard, the reference was obvious given that the Congresswoman has often been accused of being Moscow’s favored candidate, in part because her unorthodox foreign policy stance, like that of President Trump, prefers a non-interventionist approach particularly in terms of military deployment.
Political analysts have also noted that Gabbard is the most discussed candidate on right wing forums online, and was even seen as the winner of the last Presidential debate on websites such as Drudge Report and Breitbart, even though she spoke the least.
Any doubts that Clinton was referring to her in the podcast was removed by the Congresswoman herself in a flaming response on Friday in which she referred to the former First Lady and Presidential candidate nominee as the “queen of warmongers” who was out to destroy her (Gabbard’s) reputation.
“Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. 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,” Gabbard tweeted.
“It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly,” she added.
While Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are seen as the frontrunners in the race to challenge Trump, Gabbard is polling only at around one per cent and is not seen as a potential nominee. Given the internal battles between more than a dozen aspirants still in the fray, some Democratic party faithfuls believe Hillary Clinton can still enter the race even at this late stage and grab the nomination.
“Don’t tempt me,” she tweeted back at Trump. “Do your job.”
But the jab at Gabbard shows how strong she (Clinton) still feels about the widely-confirmed Russian interference in the 2020 Presidential election that many believe led to Trump being catapulted to the White House even though he lost the popular vote by a huge margin.
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