Buttigieg Slams Gabbard on Assad: I Have Better Judgement Than to Meet With 'A Murderous Dictator'

Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard questioned Buttigieg's judgement by saying he had called for U.S. troops to be sent to Mexico

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Democratic presidential hopefuls (L-R) New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Representative for Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg participate in the fifth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia on November 20, 2019
Democratic presidential hopefuls Representative for Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg participate in the fifth Democratic primary debate, November 20, 2019Credit: Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP

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.”

Pete Buttigieg And Tulsi Gabbard Call Each Other Out Over Inexperience | MSNBC

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.”