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Debate night: Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris spar over heart of the Democratic Party

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Kamala Harris went head-to-head at the 5th Democratic debate Wednesday over their views of the Democratic Party.

What they're saying: Responding to a question about the "rot" in the Democratic Party, Gabbard stated: "Our Democratic Party, unfortunately, is not the party that is of, by and for the people."

  • Harris responded: "I think that it's unfortunate that we have someone on this stage who is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, who during the Obama administration spent four years full time on Fox News criticizing President Obama."
  • Gabbard snapped back, criticizing the party's foreign policy record and stating: "What Sen. Harris is doing is unfortunately continuing to traffic in lies and smears and innuendos because she cannot challenge the substance of the argument that I'm making."

Context: Gabbard is an outspoken critic of the party's establishment. She butted heads with 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton earlier this year after Clinton called Gabbard Russia's favorite 2020 candidate.

  • Gabbard left her role as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2016 to back Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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