Tulsi Gabbard Complains to Fox News About 'Lack of Transparency' in the Democratic National Committee After Failing to Qualify for Fall Debate

After failing to meet the requirements for the next round of debates, 2020 Democratic hopeful Tulsi Gabbard appeared on Fox News to criticize the party's national committee for a "lack of transparency."

The deadline to qualify for the next Democratic presidential debate passed at midnight on Wednesday night. Only 10 of the 20 candidates still in the running will be able to appear on stage next month in Houston, Texas. The requirements doubled from the previous two debates, with candidates needing to have at least 130,000 donors and 2 percent support in four national polls.Gabbard met the necessary donor threshold but fell short in polling.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson started the segment by asking Gabbard if the Democratic National Committee was really "refusing to recognize as valid polls that would qualify you for the next debate."

The congresswoman said the entire polling process gets a "little bit confusing" but that the real problem was that the "whole process really lacks transparency."

"People deserve having that transparency, because, ultimately, it's the people who will decide who our Democratic nominee will be and ultimately who our next president, commander-in-chief will be," Gabbard said. "And when you see that lack of transparency, it creates, you know, a lack of faith and trust in the process."

Gabbard went on to say that this challenge is not unique to the Democratic National Committee but extends to the entire federal government. She argued that voters are losing trust in the government because they only see "powerful elites" being elected to office while candidates like her are left behind.

"Really what they see is a small group of 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," Gabbard said.

DNC spokesperson Adrienne Watson responded to Gabbard's comments, telling Newsweek: "The debate rules have been public for months, and candidates have been given more opportunities and more time to qualify for debates than in previous cycles."

The next Democratic presidential debate will only be a one-night event after only half the candidates in the running met the necessary requirements to participate. Those candidates include Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

2020 hopefuls needed to meet two criteria in order to appear on stage: 130,000 unique donors (with a minimum of 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 states) and at least 2 percent support in four qualifying polls released between June 28 and August 28.

Gabbard met the donor threshold but failed to poll above 2 percent in two national polls. Other candidates who may have met the debate requirements if more polls were counted include Tom Steyer and Marianne Williamson. The Democratic National Committee accepts polls from 16 organizations for the debate qualifications.

Update (8/29/2019, 2:00 p.m.): This story has been updated to include a comment from the Democratic National Committee.

tulsi gabbard fails to qualify for Sept.debates
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks during the AARP and The Des Moines Register Iowa Presidential Candidate Forum on July 17, 2019 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Gabbard hit the donor threshold but failed to meet the polling requirement for the next round of Democratic debates in September. Justin Sulivan/Getty
Tulsi Gabbard Complains to Fox News About 'Lack of Transparency' in the Democratic National Committee After Failing to Qualify for Fall Debate | U.S.