Election 2020

Tulsi Gabbard Furious After Yahoo Suggests She's Seeking a 'Spoiler Role' as a Third-Party Candidate

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has said on several different occasions that she does not plan to run as an independent candidate if she fails in her attempt to become the Democrats’ presidential nominee. That little fact, however, did not prevent Yahoo News from publishing a piece arguing that… she’s trying to do exactly that anyway.

The headline says it all: “Tulsi Gabbard, encouraged by Trump, may seek spoiler role.” In the body of the article its author, one David Knowles, argues:

Gabbard, who has announced that she won’t seek reelection to the House in 2020, has been a regular in conservative media, often appearing on Fox News with a message tailored to conservative Democrats, isolationist Republicans and the radically antiwar left. Over the weekend she was endorsed by retired Ohio congressman and former Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich. That demographic, while unlikely to give her enough votes to claim victory in 2020, could be lured by her candidacy from supporting the eventual Democratic nominee. As happened in the 2016 election, when Green Party candidate Jill Stein peeled away crucial support from Hillary Clinton, those votes could very well tip the election in Trump’s favor.

Next, Knowles explains how Stein supposedly cost Clinton Michigan (Democrats really do have to explain to voters that they own their votes, don’t they?!) and Wisconsin. According to Knowles, Gabbard could very well set herself up to play a similar role in 2020. “Given the bad blood between Gabbard and the Democratic Party, it’s easy to imagine her pursuing a third-party run,” he writes.

As Twitter-user Neil argues, however, it’s quite sad that this drivel passes for journalism nowadays:

Matt Taibbi adds that while it may be “easy to imagine” Gabbard launching an independent bid, she has repeatedly denied wanting to do so. “How can you not include her repeated denials on this score?” he asks Knowles.

Gabbard responded to Taibbi’s tweet: “Exactly. It’s because they’re not interested in fact.”

How about this? What if Democrats want Gabbard to run as an independent because they are starting to doubt their ability to defeat Trump next year? What if they need a patsy and hope Gabbard is naive enough to take on that role?

Well, bad news for them: Gabbard once again makes clear she has no plans to do so. If Democrats fail next year — and I’m positive they will — they will be blamed for it, not Tulsi Gabbard.

Follow me on Twitter: @GalienMichael.