Gabbard calls Harris response to attacks 'pathetic'

Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardProgressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition YouTube rival Rumble strikes deals with Tulsi Gabbard, Glenn Greenwald MORE (D-Hawaii) hit back at Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden, Harris push big lie about Border Patrol Two 'View' hosts test positive for coronavirus ahead of Harris interview Rep. Karen Bass to run for mayor of Los Angeles: report MORE (D-Calif.) after Harris brushed off her criticism following Wednesday’s debate in Detroit.

“Honestly, it’s pathetic that when confronted with the facts and the truth about her record that she claims to be proud of as a prosecutor, as attorney general of California, all she can do is lob cheap smears,” Gabbard told Hill.TV on Thursday in response to Harris's remarks. 

The Harris campaign didn't immediately respond to Hill.TV's request for comment. 

Following Gabbard’s attack of her record as a prosecutor in California, Harris told CNN that she expected to “take hits,” calling herself a “top-tier candidate” and noting Gabbard’s low standing in recent polling.

The California senator also called out Gabbard for meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2017 and declining to call him a war criminal.

In her interview with Hill.TV, Gabbard re-upped her criticism over Harris’s prosecutorial record, emphasizing that the senator's campaign is “predicated on being a champion for the people,” particularly people of color.

“This is all a lie because when she was in a position to do something about it, when she was in a position to make a difference and truly be a champion for the people she furthered and perpetuated this unfair, unjust system that harmed many black and brown people in the state of California,” she told Hill.TV.

Gabbard’s comments mark the latest exchange between the two White House contenders after a brutal night of intraparty fighting among Democrats in the second round of Democratic debates.

During the debate, Gabbard said she was “deeply concerned” about Harris’s record as a prosecutor, accusing her of locking up scores of of racial minorities for low-level drug offenses. She also accused the senator of hiding evidence that would free an innocent man on death row and keeping people imprisoned for longer sentences to use them as cheap prison labor.

“The people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology,” Gabbard said.

Harris defended her record, saying she has done more than give “fancy speeches,” an apparent dig at the congresswoman.

“I did the work of significantly changing the criminal justice system and I’m proud of that work, to not just give fancy speeches or be in a legislative body and give speeches on the floor but actually doing the work,” Harris said on the debate stage.

—Tess Bonn