Tulsi Gabbard Tells Voters ‘Hell No’ to Quitting 2020 Democratic Presidential Race

September 1, 2019 Updated: September 2, 2019

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has said she won’t be dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race after she narrowly missed the cut for the upcoming third Democratic presidential debate this month.

Addressing voters’ concerns on Aug. 31 that she may pull out of the race for the White House, the 38-year-old congresswoman said at a town hall in Atlanta: “Hell, no!”

“I started hearing from a lot of people in the media when they said, ‘OK, you didn’t make the third debate. Are you quitting?’” Gabbard said, after failing to make the lineup of 10 candidates put in place by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“If any of them had been listening to what I’ve been saying about what this movement is about, about why I’m running for president, and what is at stake, they would understand why we are here and why we will never quit,” she added.

The 10 confirmed candidates who met the threshold set by the DNC include former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Obama administration Housing Secretary Julián Castro, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and businessman Andrew Yang.

Gabbard and billionaire Tom Steyer both missed a place in September’s debate after failing to meet polling requirements for an Aug. 28 deadline.

Candidates needed to get 2 percent or more support in at least four polls, with only certain polls being counted by the committee; they also needed 130,000 unique donors.

The DNC allowed polls from the following groups: The Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, the Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, and Winthrop University.

While Gabbard passed the donor threshold, she fell short by two polls, despite scoring strongly in various polls and surveys after clashing with Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in July.

Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Gabbard argued that the DNC’s debate criteria “lacks transparency.”

“There’s a whole bunch of different polls that have come out. The DNC has only recognized some of them as being qualifying polls for the debate,” she said.

The debate, which will be hosted by ABC and Univision in Houston, will take place on Sept. 12 from from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

ABC previously said that 10 or fewer candidates qualifying would mean the debate would only take place on one night, instead of two.

The September debate will be the first time that some of the candidates will share the stage. The previous debates had featured double the number of contenders, including the ones held by CNN in late July, forcing the lineup of contenders to be split into two groups to debate on consecutive nights.

Gabbard targeted Harris in the CNN debate and a number of contenders went after front-runner Biden. Biden and Warren are among the pairs that haven’t appeared on stage together as of yet.

The debate format gives candidates 75 seconds to directly respond to questions and 45 seconds to respond outside of the questions. There will be opening statements, but no closing statements, another change from the last debate.

Candidates who didn’t make the cut for this month’s debates can still qualify for the next debate in October.

Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.