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Gabbard rules out independent bid if she loses 2020 Democratic nomination

Gabbard rules out independent bid if she loses 2020 Democratic nomination
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 Growing number of House Republicans warm to proxy voting MORE (D-Hawaii) said Thursday she has “ruled out” the possibility of launching an independent 2020 presidential bid if she fails to secure the Democratic nomination.

“I've ruled that out,” Gabbard said on CNN when asked about a possible third-party campaign. “I’m going to continue to focus on moving our campaign forward, continuing this grass-roots campaign, continuing to deliver our message to the American people.”

Neera Tanden, president of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, predicted in a July tweet that Gabbard would run as a Green Party candidate “to help Trump win.”

David Rothkopf, who served in the Commerce Department during the Clinton administration and later became CEO and editor of the FP Group, responded to Tanden's tweet by saying, "She is 100% right on this."

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Gabbard is one of 10 Democrats seeking the party’s nomination who failed to qualify for the third debate round, slated for Sept. 12 in Houston.

She reached the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) requirement of garnering 130,000 unique donors, with more than 400 in each of at least 20 states. But she failed to meet the second requirement: having at last 2 percent support in four DNC-approved polls.

Candidates who fell short for the September event are still eligible to qualify for the October debate, which will have the same participation criteria.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocrats torn on impeachment trial timing OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: 12 removed from National Guard inauguration security | Austin backs lifting transgender ban Biden Pentagon pick supports lifting transgender military ban MORE (D-N.Y.) dropped out of the race just hours before Wednesday's qualification deadline after she failed to make much headway in the crowded field of White House hopefuls.

Gabbard’s campaign knocked the DNC's polling criteria last week, noting the Democrat from Hawaii has surpassed 2 percent support in 26 national and early state polls, only two of which were on the DNC-certified list.

“The Gabbard campaign is calling on the DNC to hold true to their promise and make adjustments to the process now to ensure transparency and fairness,” the campaign said Friday. “Crucial decisions on debate qualifications that impact the right of the American people to have the opportunity to participate fully in the Democratic process should not be made in secret by party bosses.”

Gabbard doubled down on her criticism during a Wednesday night interview on Fox News with host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden EPA asks Justice Dept. to pause defense of Trump-era rules | Company appeals rejection of Pebble Mine | Energy pick Granholm to get hearing Wednesday Company appeals rejection of controversial Pebble Mine  McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism MORE, arguing the DNC’s “whole process really lacks transparency.”

"People deserve having that transparency, because, ultimately, it's the people who will decide who our Democratic nominee will be and ultimately who our next president, commander in chief, will be," Gabbard said. "And when you see that lack of transparency, it creates, you know, a lack of faith and trust in the process."