Democratic Presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard got her chance – and really took it – to strike back at frequent critics Joy Behar and other cohosts of ABC’s The View by denying in no uncertain terms that she is not a useful idiot, a traitor or a Trojan horse. She left out Meghan McCain’s “Assad apologist,” possibly because McCain has recently changed course on Gabbard.
The candidate herself brought up the verbal brickbats she’s taken from The View and Hillary Clinton. Before moderator Whoopi Goldberg could get her first question answered, Gabbard dove right into the deep end.
Mostly addressing Behar, Gabbard said, “I want to start with something I think is also important about facts because recently on your show here some of you have accused me being a traitor to my country, a Russian asset, a Trojan horse or a useful idiot, I think is the term that you used, which basically means that I am naive or lack intelligence.”
Saying she wanted to set the record straight, Gabbard described herself as a patriot and a “strong and intelligent woman of color and I have dedicated almost my entire adult life to protecting the safety, security and the freedom of all Americans in this country.”
Despite the audience applause, Behar didn’t back down, noting that right-winger Franklin Graham finds Gabbard “refreshing,” that White Nationalist Richard Spencer “says he could vote for you.”
“Youre on Tucker Carlson at least 10 times,” continued Behar. “Why don’t you go on Chris Wallace’s show?”
Gabbard then accused Behar of “spreading innuendoes that have nothing to do with who I am.”
And then they got serious. The subject? Hillary Clinton, who recently accused Gabbard of being “the favorite of the Russians” and a “Russian asset.”
After the show played the Clinton clip, Gabbard said, “Really? This is offensive and outrageous on so many levels.” Citing her post-9/11 military service and her political career, the congresswoman said such aspersions are “offensive to me as a soldier, as an American, as a member of Congress, as a veteran, and frankly as a woman, to be so demeaned in such a way.”
“But you called her the personification of the rot” in the Democratic Pary, said Behar, referring to Clinton. “She’s a woman too.”
After a commercial break, Behar said she wanted to do some record-straightening: That she never said Gabbard was a “witting asset” of the Russians but maybe an “unwitting asset.” Then Behar pivoted to wondering why Gabbard was such a frequent guest of Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson, whom Behar called “a liar and a propagandist.”
Gabbard answered both questions before McCain praised her as a Democrat who doesn’t treat Republicans “like garbage.”
And it went on from there, mostly campaign speechifying, but stick around for the final exchange between Gabbard, Behar and McCain. The latter thanks Gabbard for not trying to “take away her guns.” Before the congresswoman had a chance to respond, Behar said, “I will.”
If that doesn’t whet your appetite for tomorrow’s show with Donald Trump Jr., nothing will.
Watch the first half of the segment above, and the second below: