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Gabbard Skirts Party Lines to Rip ‘Power Elite’ in CPAC Speech

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former 2020 Democratic presidential contender and Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard crossed party lines on Friday to give a fiery speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering in Orlando to blast the “power elite” in Washington.

In addition, Gabbard ripped “their co-conspirators in the mainstream media and the security state,” while adding that in an ideal setting, “our leaders would haul [former Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper before a judge to answer for his lies to Congress about how the government is collecting information.”

“And they would support the Durham investigation and Clinton corruption in 2016…” she began, only to be interrupted by cheers from the crowd.

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As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, the former presidential contender blasted members of both major political parties in Congress “who talk a good game about civil liberties, but when it comes time to cast that vote on things like getting rid of secret FISA courts and protecting our fourth amendment rights to privacy, they vote on the side of the power elite and against liberty.”

Gabbard also told the receptive crowd that she was targeting the “Biden-Clinton-neocon-neolib foreign policy” with her remarks, which came on day 2 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The outlet continued:

Gabbard wrapped up day two at CPAC, which was moved to Orlando last year for Florida’s more permissive COVID regulations. 

The choice of the former Democratic presidential hopeful raised eyebrows, but also made sense, as she’s spent her time in Congressional retirement more on Fox’s airwaves than anywhere else in politics.

She joked about the dynamic when she came onstage. 

“I’ve gotta say, when Matt and I first spoke on the phone about me coming here, we both had a similar reaction to each other saying, ‘yeah, there’s gonna probably be some strong thoughts that people are going to share with both of us,'” she noted, referencing CPAC organizer and American Conservative Union chief Matt Schlapp.

She noted that once her speaking slot was scheduled and confirmed, “the blue checkmarks started lining up” on Twitter and other social media — “so-called progressives” who called her a “traitor.”

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“Hillary was right. Get out of here,” Gabbard noted.

In 2019, Hillary Clinton famously suggested the Russians were ‘grooming’ Gabbard, though didn’t use the congresswoman’s name. 

Gabbard had quit her post at the Democratic National Committee three years before to publicly support Sanders, who was running against Clinton, and told then DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in an email – exposed in the Wikileaks hack – that she felt the DNC was rigging the primary in favor of the more mainstream ex-secretary of state, senator and first lady.  

On the CPAC stage, Gabbard said Schlapp received similar warnings from those on the right. 

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“And then I started seeing the things coming out from so-called conservatives, mostly directed at Matt, and saying, ‘How dare you? Don’t you know she’s a Democrat? Cancel her, disinvite her or lock the doors, don’t let her in,'” Gabbard added, going on to decry the political “tribalism” throughout the country that has polarized Americans.

“This kind of tribalism is dangerous and it’s emblematic of an erosion of a spiritual foundation in this country,” the U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel continued. “It’s emblematic of this lack of recognition that we’re all God’s children, that we are one nation under God, and knowing that inspires us.”

From that point, she launched into a diatribe against the Washington “power elite.”

“They think free speech is something that should only be left to those who agree with them,” she said.

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“The latest strategy and tactic that they’re using is to try to undermine our free speech by taking it upon themselves to say they’ve got the responsibility to protect us from so-called misinformation,” the former Hawaii Democratic lawmaker observed. “So basically, they’re saying that they are going to protect us from that which they claim is not true.”

Adding that the political elite work hand-in-hand with “their mouthpieces – the mainstream media and big tech – doing exactly what our founders rejected,” she declared, “I’m sure you’ve all heard them before. I have. Like today. Russian asset. White supremacist. Bigot. Racist. Extremist. Traitor.”

“But what’s even more dangerous than this threat of being canceled is the federal government wielding its power and might to punish those who dare to question or disagree with them and their policies,” Gabbard added.

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