Tulsi Gabbard Campaign Claims CNN Cut Her Off To Protect Elizabeth Warren: 'Surprise'

Representative Tulsi Gabbard is taking aim at CNN following the fourth Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night in Westerville, Ohio.

Gabbard took to Twitter later Tuesday evening—and again on Wednesday morning—claiming that the news outlet had interrupted her line of questioning toward Warren as a protective gesture.

"Surprise. CNN Cuts off Tulsi to protect Warren," someone tweeted from the 2020 candidate's account, attributing the words to her sister, Vrindavan.

Surprise. CNN cuts off Tulsi to protect Warren.
—Vrindavan (Tulsi's sister) pic.twitter.com/2m6hj4L2gH

— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) October 16, 2019

The moment in question came after Gabbard was asked whether or not age is a relevant factor in determining who the next president should be. The 38-year-old Iraq veteran—who, if elected, would become the youngest president in U.S. history—replied that the real question is not about age, but leadership ability, particularly in the area of foreign policy.

"It's not fair to single out certain candidates based on their age and ask about their health and fitness to serve, and not ask the rest of us," she posted after the debate on Twitter. "The real question is not about physical fitness, it's about who is fit to serve as our commander in chief?"

After highlighting her own experiences, Gabbard was told the words "Thank you, congresswoman"—an indication that the time allotted for her response to the question was up.

Through additional signals from Burnett, the representative from Hawaii continued: "I'd like to ask our other candidate this question. I'd like to start with Senator Warren—what her experience and background is to serve as Commander-in-Chief."

Burnett spoke again, announcing that the program had to cut to a commercial break.

Gabbard was "relegated to the side of the stage" for the debate due to her low polling numbers, as Politico put it. Her simple presence on stage marked something of a victory for Gabbard's campaign, after she failed to qualify for to the third primary debate in September.

Gabbard used the debate platform to voice additional gripes with the media Tuesday evening, calling both CNN and New York Times coverage of the conflict in Syria "completely despicable."

"Not only that, New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime change war," Gabbard said, as noted by The New York Post.

Including Warren, Gabbard faced off against 11 other candidates the largest presidential primary debate in history, according to the Times. Following the debate, CNN commentators noted that it was the first time Warren—who has advanced in the poll since September—has come under fire from other candidates.

As of October 15, Gabbard had achieved the funding requirements to qualify for the next debate, scheduled for November 20 in Atlanta, Georgia, but she has not yet cracked the polling cutoff. She has until November 13 to reach that threshold.

Tulsi Gabbard
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio. Win McNamee/Getty Images