Critics Blast DNC for Snubbing Tulsi Gabbard in 'Unity' Fundraising Video Featuring 10 Candidates

The Democratic National Committee produced a new "unity" fundraising advertisement which featured 10 presidential candidates—but notably left out Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Critics have railed against the DNC for offering a seemingly hypocritical message after they launched the fundraising video Monday. The spot featured 10 candidates reading the same message about uniting the party behind whoever wins the nomination in July. But Gabbard, who recently broke ranks in Congress and voted "present" rather than in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, was nowhere to be seen in the so-called "unity" video. She has consistently polled higher than at least two of the candidates who were featured.

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In October, Gabbard and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton engaged in a war of words after Clinton seemed to refer to Gabbard as a "Russian asset." Gabbard responded by saying she wouldn't be scared by the Clinton "war machine" or the DNC. During the 2016 campaign, Gabbard renounced her own position as vice chairwoman of the committee and endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president after Clinton won the party's nomination.

"With less than a year until November 3, 2020, we must come together now and work towards the common goal of defeating Donald Trump and sending a Democrat to the White House," the official DNC account tweeted Monday.

The video depicts former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, tech businessman and philanthropist Andrew Yang, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, billionaire donor Tom Steyer, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

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In the video the ten featured candidates—but not Gabbard—alternated reading a message:

"I'm running to be your nominee, but no matter who ends up on that stage as our nominee in the convention, we need the whole Democratic Party to unite if we want to take back the White House and win seats all across the country and deliver a presidency consistent with our Democratic values," the Democratic hopefuls said.

"Unity is what this moment in history demands of us right now because the stakes have never been higher. As Democrats, we know there is so much more that unites us than divides us. And next year, we have the opportunity to make sure that our shared values are represented," they continued.

"So Deval Patrick gets included but Tulsi Gabbard does not?" The Hill's Saagar Enjeti reacted on Twitter Monday.

"Wait...isn't Tulsi Gabbard still in this race? Bernie talks unity more than policy. And more irony, this after the divisive move of impeachment. Wow, I can feel the love. Anyone else see the contradictions everywhere?" replied the popular political account, The Radical Independent.

Other DNC critics questioned why former U.S. HUD Secretary Julián Castro and other candidates of color did not appear in the video.

"Really? Why now? Why not a few months ago? Why are Bernie & Warren & Tulsi & Bloomberg still there if you want 'unity' and where the hell is Castro in your image? Is he the next POC to be erased?" asked one incredulous Twitter user.

The Gabbard 2020 campaign has not yet responded to the DNC snub. In addition to Castro, former Democratic congressman John Delaney, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and Marianne Williamson were not featured in the ad despite not having officially ended their campaigns.

Bennet's campaign issued a statement ridiculing the DNC for trying to "hand pick their preferred presidential field using arbitrary criteria." On Twitter Monday, Bennet said the advertisement is a clear illustration of "pay-to-play politics."

Tulsi Gabbard
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has been urged to resign by former Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie. Drew Angerer/Getty
Critics Blast DNC for Snubbing Tulsi Gabbard in 'Unity' Fundraising Video Featuring 10 Candidates | Politics