In Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, Pete Buttigieg became the focus of several of his Democratic opponents for what they characterized as a lack of experience.
After the South Bend, Indiana, mayor called for federal leadership on voting rights, Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar pointed out she supported such legislation in the Senate — and had won a statewide race.
Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard turned to foreign policy, saying Buttigieg had called for U.S. troops to be sent to Mexico. Buttigieg accused her of misrepresenting his past remarks that he supported a “security partnership” with Mexico but “would only order American troops into conflict if there were no other choice.”
Buttigieg noted Gabbard’s meeting with Syria’s president and said he wouldn’t have met with “a murderous dictator.”
Gabbard has criticized 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, prompting a sharp back-and-forth with California Senator Kamala Harris.
Gabbard doubled down on earlier comments that Clinton represents the “personification of the rot in the Democratic Party.” She says the party is influenced by a “foreign policy establishment” that supports regime-change wars. She calls it the “Bush, Clinton, Trump foreign policy doctrine.”
Harris responded by saying it’s unfortunate to have a candidate on stage who criticizes President Barack Obama on Fox News, “buddied up” to Trump adviser Steve Bannon to get a meeting with Trump and wouldn’t call out a war criminal.
Gabbard accuses Harris of “smears and innuendo.”