By MINDY LUCAS
About 40 people turned out Wednesday, Feb. 12 to hear Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard at the Gullah Jazz Café in Beaufort.
The Democratic presidential candidate, who finished with just 3 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, downplayed her low ranking performance saying she would continue doing what she was doing when asked if she would change her strategy going forward.
“I’m not a billionaire or as well known as some of the other candidates, but we are fueled by contributions from individuals all across the country, incredible volunteers who are helping us get our message out there to voters … so that’s what I’m going to continue to do,” she said.
The combat veteran talked about such topics as healthcare and education at the townhall styled event but underscored that she believed the country could not pay for these things if it continued to fund wars and a continued military presence like the one in Afghanistan.
“Unless we deal with the cost of war and the priorities in this country that, in my view, have been wrong for so long, we won’t begin to be able to pay for the things that we need …,” she said.
Gabbard also talked about the importance of bringing the country together, but also stated that same message of unity made her the best candidate to beat Donald Trump.
She spoke for about 10 minutes before taking questions from those gathered for the event, many of whom said they were Independents or Libertarians.
Brittany Culbertson, who identified herself as a moderate Democrat, asked the Congresswoman to explain her vote on impeachment. Gabbard voted “present” on the House’s two articles of impeachment.
“Continuing this hyper-partisanship through this avenue of impeachment would only further divide our already divided country,” she said. “And it would increase the likelihood that it would be more difficult to beat Donald Trump at the ballot box.”
Gabbard went on to say that the Senate was never going to “kick him out of office.”
“That was not a realistic outcome,” she said.
After the event, Culbertson said, while she appreciated Gabbard’s emphasis on foreign policy, she didn’t buy her answer on impeachment.
“It’s not a referendum on what would happen, but rather it’s about what you believe did happen,” she said.
The S.C. Democratic Primary is Saturday, Feb. 29.
Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard held a town hall meeting at the Beaufort Black Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Gabbard answered questions on topics ranging from gun control to attacks on the U.S. Constitution. Photo by Bob Sofaly.