By Ronn Blitzer
Published August 06, 2019
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, appears to be going all in on the presidential campaign strategy that garnered attention for her at last week’s Democratic debate: hit Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., hard over her record as California Attorney General.
Gabbard went viral after the second Democratic debate, when she unleashed a blistering attack against Harris, charging she enforced strict policies that undermine Harris’ current progressive platform.
Gabbard, a combat veteran, maintained the offensive on Tuesday.
“Kamala’s entire campaign is based on a lie — that as AG of California, she was a fighter for the oppressed and for criminal justice reform,” Gabbard tweeted. “But her criminal justice record shows that her policies exemplified the worst aspects of our criminal justice system.”
During the debate, Gabbard said she was worried about what a Harris administration could look like based on this history.
"Sen. Harris says she's proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she'll be a prosecutor president, but I'm deeply concerned about this record," Gabbard said.
"There are too many examples to cite but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana."
Harris claimed she was in favor of legalizing marijuana and has opposed the death penalty.
"The bottom line is, Senator Harris, when you were in a position to make a difference and impact in these people's lives, you did not," Gabbard responded.
Gabbard also called out prosecutors who worked under Harris, who argued against prisoners being paroled because the state then would not be able to use them to fight wildfires. Harris' campaign said that when Harris found out about this, "She looked into it and directed the department’s attorneys not to make that argument again."
In the days prior to the debate, Gabbard criticized Harris for her lack of foreign policy experience.
“I think one of the things I'm most concerned with is Kamala Harris is not qualified to serve as commander-in-chief, and I can say this from a personal perspective as a soldier,” Gabbard said during an appearance on Fox Sports Radio's “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis." Gabbard served in Iraq as a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard.
“She's got no background or experience in foreign policy and she lacks the temperament that is necessary for a commander-in-chief.”
Gabbard herself has faced criticism for her foreign policy after taking a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in 2017. In a CNN interview the day after the debate, Harris called Gabbard an "apologist" who has "embraced" Assad. That same day, Gabbard told the network that Assad is "a brutal dictator, just like Saddam Hussein," but she remains against sending U.S. troops into wars aimed at regime change.
Fox News’ Sam Dorman and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.