The View’s Joy Behar has some concerns about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).
“Some prominent figures on the right, the extreme right, are praising you, they like you,” Behar told Gabbard when it was her turn to question the 2020 hopeful on Monday morning. “David Duke, the klans-guy, he likes you.”
Behar was citing the support Gabbard has received from the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and other right-wing extremists. But while Gabbard has unequivocally rejected those endorsements, she was quick to note on The View that Duke “also likes” Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Duke previously praised the Minnesota Democrat for challenging Israel.
But Behar wanted to know why Duke and others are drawn to Gabbard specifically.
“I think that first of all, we shouldn't give David Duke any oxygen at all,” Gabbard replied, before pivoting to make the point that her message appeals to a wide swath of voters that just happens to include unapologetic racists.
“What I have seen and what I have heard as we have been going through this campaign both in big cities and in small towns is we have got Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, people from across the political spectrum, coming together, coming to our town halls, coming to our events,” she said. “We can disagree on a number of issues, but this issue of the cost of war and the experience that I bring to this most important responsibility that the president has as commander in chief and ending these wasteful regime change wars.”
As Gabbard tried to explain the difference between opposing “regime change” and being an “isololationist,” Behar continued to push back, noting that those on the right support her “extreme vetting” for Syrian refugees and the fact that she criticized President Obama for refusing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.”
“I don’t want to talk about what they are saying,” Gabbard shot back.
“This is what they say about you,” Behar replied, “and why Ann Coulter says, ‘Oh goody for Tulsi.’”
Coulter not only tweeted “Go Tulsi!” during the first Democratic debate but also told BuzzFeed that she would consider voting for Gabbard not only in the Democratic primary but “possibly” even over President Trump in the general election.
“I will never apologize for making it my priority to keep the American people safe,” Gabbard said in response. “That’s the bottom line.”
Someone else who has been unexpectedly impressed by Gabbard’s campaign is Behar’s co-host—and frequent sparring partner—Meghan McCain.
“You made a huge impact in the first debate, and I was actually one of the people tweeting how impressed I was with your performance,” McCain told the congresswoman earlier in the interview. “It kind of surprised me,” she said, adding, “And I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way.”
After reading aloud from a July 4th campaign email in which Gabbard attempted to “reclaim patriotism” for the left, McCain asked, “This pro-America, pro-God, pro-gun message, do you think it’s getting a lot of attention because it’s different than the rest of the Democratic field?”
“It really was a message of a reminder to all of us in this country at a time when we are becoming increasingly divided,” Gabbard said. “Where identity politics are being used to kind of tear people apart for political interests, rather than remembering and recognizing what unites us, the freedoms and principles that are enshrined in our Constitution that we continue to strive to uphold as we work towards this more perfect union.”