Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard threatened to boycott the October debate after accusing the Democratic Party of "trying to hijack the entire election process."
The Hawaii congresswoman alleged that the Democratic National Committee has attempted to rig the primary process in an attempt to cull the crowded primary field. Gabbard, whose underdog campaign rose in the polls following her performance in the July debate, said she is willing to forgo the next televised debate to pressure the party into remaining neutral in the nominating process.
"In order to bring attention to this serious threat to our democracy and to ensure that your voice is heard, I’m seriously considering boycotting the next debate on October 15th," Gabbard said. "I’m going to announce my decision within the next few days."
Gabbard claimed voters from Iowa and New Hampshire expressed to her their concern that the DNC and corporate media are rigging the competition.
"There are so many of you that I have had the opportunity to meet in Iowa and New Hampshire who have expressed to me how frustrated you are that the DNC and corporate media are essentially trying to usurp your role as voters in choosing who our democratic nominee will be," Gabbard said.
Gabbard pointed to the 2016 primary, saying party insiders played a decisive role in giving former secretary of state Hillary Clinton the nod over socialist senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).
"The 2016 Democratic primary election was rigged by the DNC and their partners in the corporate media against Bernie Sanders," Gabbard said. "In the 2020 election, the DNC and the corporate media are rigging the election again but this time it’s against the American people."
Gabbard began criticizing the DNC in August over a "lack of transparency." She failed to qualify for the September debate and has taken to media networks such as CNN and Fox News to express her frustration.
In a CNN interview, Gabbard received some pushback from host Jim Sciutto. He asked her why she believed the DNC has not been transparent when "the polling standards have been public." Gabbard said the DNC has not been forthright with voters about why certain polls are excluded from consideration.
"I guess I just don’t understand what you base that transparency argument on when they’ve been out there," Sciutto said. "They make judgments about particular polls as to whether they meet their standards but they have advertised what those polls are for some time. So how is that not transparent?"
"We could get into a whole bunch of details about demographics and where exactly these polls are taking place and more importantly where they are not taking place," Gabbard said. "I don’t think we’ve got the time to get into that here but I’ll tell you there’s a lot of questions that have come up as we’re going through this process."
Gabbard is polling at less than 1 percent, according to RealClearPolitics.