Tulsi Gabbard rips CNN over town hall snub: 'We received no explanation'

NORTH CONWAY, N.H. -- Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii says she’s still waiting to hear from CNN about why she wasn’t invited to take part in a series of town halls the cable news network is holding next week in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.

“We have reached out, I think, more than once, and we received no explanation. I don't even think we've gotten a response to date about why they're excluding the first female combat veteran ever to run for president, the only woman of color in the race,” the four-term congresswoman and Iraq War veteran said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News.

CNN announced last Friday that it would host a series of nationally televised town halls in New Hampshire on Feb. 5 and 6, just a few days ahead of the state’s Feb. 11 presidential primary.

GABBARD SHREDS IT UP ON THE NEW HAMPSHIRE SLOPES

The four top-tier candidates in the race -- former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- made the cut. So did Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer, and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii speaks with Fox News after snowboarding with supporters at Cranmore Mountain Resort, in North Conway, NH on Jan. 28, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii speaks with Fox News after snowboarding with supporters at Cranmore Mountain Resort, in North Conway, NH on Jan. 28, 2019

Gabbard’s numbers in national polls and in Iowa, which holds the first contest in the presidential nomination calendar, are in the low single digits. But in New Hampshire -- where the candidate is spending almost all of her time on the campaign trail -- she’s at 5 percent in the latest RealClearPolitics average of the latest surveys in the Granite State. That’s ahead of Steyer and Patrick, who were both invited to the town halls.

Fox News reached out to CNN but had yet to receive a response at the time of publication.

“We're still waiting for an answer,” Gabbard said. “It's really a disservice to voters in New Hampshire and across the country to not allow them the opportunity to hear from myself included with the other candidates as we head into election day.”

In the interview, Gabbard committed to staying in New Hampshire through primary day. She said that she would be in the Granite State rather than in Iowa on Feb. 3, the night the caucuses will be held.

“I've spent a lot of time in Iowa earlier on in the campaign, and we are here in New Hampshire for the duration all the way through election day on Feb. 11,” she said.

Gabbard spoke with Fox News after spending the afternoon snowboarding with supporters at Cranmore Mountain Resort in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. She was interviewed while the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump was continuing in the nation’s capital.

Gabbard angered many Democrats by voting "present" when nearly every other House Democrat voted in favor of impeaching the president last month.

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Asked whether or not the House Democratic impeachment managers made an effective case for convicting Trump during the Senate trial, and whether she’d vote in favor of allowing witnesses to testify if she were in the Senate, Gabbard said: “I’m not in the Senate and I haven't been following what's going on there very closely, to be honest. I'm not going to comment on that.”