Tulsi Gabbard defends appearing on Fox News, says other Democrats are ‘disrespecting and dismissing’ half of America

Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard defended her decision to appear on Fox News and said her 2020 rivals are “disrespecting and dismissing” half the country by shunning the network.

Gabbard, D-Hawaii, appeared Monday on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast alongside retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, who pointed out she isn’t as far left as other Democratic candidates. As a result, Gabbard explained why she doesn’t only speak to extreme liberals during her primary campaign and instead prefers to speak to the entire country.

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“This is why, I’ll go on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and I’m delivering the exact same message to people and we’re building and growing support in people who watch those three different channels,” Gabbard said. “You’re never going to be able to have a dialogue… win support from people who you treat like garbage, who you disrespect, who you call names, who you call deplorables. But how do you expect to lead as the president of every single American in this country when you’ve thrown half of them away?”

"How do you expect to lead as the president of every single American in this country when you’ve thrown half of them away?”

— Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Rogan said he is “stunned by the blowback” that Gabbard has received from Democrats for appearing on Fox News.

“People are actually upset, they do not think that you should grace the Fox News screens, that you’re doing a disservice to your party,” Rogan said.

Willink added that it's “weird” Democrats would attack Gabbard for going on Fox News when it’s actually a good political strategy to attract moderate conservative voters — which are typically needed to win the general election.

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“Not only that, what’s wrong with going on camera with someone you oppose? Someone you disagree with and having a dialogue about what you disagree with? That’s the weird thing about this cancel culture, this strange time we’re living in. You’re not even supposed to communicate with people about ideas that you disagree on,” Rogan said. 

Gabbard, who has been criticized by prominent Democrats for appearing on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” said her 2020 rivals fear they would actually agree with Fox News opinion hosts.

“On Tucker Carlson, I have a platform to be able to speak to millions of people across the country about the kind of leadership that I bring in the area of foreign policy,” she said. “I have the opportunity to deliver that message directly to people’s living rooms.”

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Gabbard said she disagrees with Carlson on many issues but found common ground on specific foreign policy issues.

“I was attacked on the debate stage for going on Fox News. How do you think you’re going to lead this country, all Americans, if you’re completely, not only shutting out and not willing to talk to half the country that watches Fox News, but you’re in fact disrespecting and dismissing them just because they may disagree with you, or they watch a different news channel,” Gabbard said. “I think that’s the bigger issue here.”

Fox News is finishing November as the most watched network among all of basic cable, topping MSNBC and CNN for the 215th straight month. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.4 million viewers for its highest-rated month in program history.