Tulsi Gabbard

John Stossel Interviews Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard and Stossel discuss war, drug legalization, and government spending.


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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) will be in the Democratic debate next week. John Stossel says that's good, because she's different from the other Democrats. 

One difference is that she served in Iraq, and now pushes for ending wars. "We have to honor our servicemen and women by only sending them on missions that are worthy of their sacrifice," Gabbard tells Stossel.

Instead, American interventions are often open-ended. "There's seldom a discussion that I've heard about what is our mission," Stossel says.

"Exactly! That's exactly the problem…what is the clear, achievable goal?" Gabbard responds. She says her Afghanistan policy would have been: "Go in. Defeat Al-Qaeda. Get out."

Gabbard also says: talk with our enemies. She met with Syria's dictator. The media and other Democratic candidates give her grief for that. 

CNN's Chris Cuomo lectured her: "You need to acknowledge that Bashar al-Assad is a murderous despot."

Kamala Harris called Gabbard an "Assad apologist."

"What's going on with your party?" Stossel asks Gabbard. "Democrats used to the antiwar party."

Gabbard responds that both parties are "heavily influenced by the foreign policy establishment…whose whole power base is built around continuing this status quo. So much so to the point where when I'm calling for an end to these wasteful wars, they're saying, 'well, gosh, Tulsi, why are you such an isolationist.' As though the only way that we can relate with other countries in the world is by bombing them, or by putting crippling economic sanctions in place."

Stossel also asks Gabbard about taking down a Democratic front-runner. In the fourth debate, she criticized Kamala Harris for her history of jailing people.

"She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana," Gabbard said in the debate.  

That moment changed the race. Harris lead in the betting at ElectionBettingOdds.com, with a 26% chance of winning the nomination. During the debate, she fell seven points. 10 days later, another seven points.  

"You killed her off," Stossel says.

"I'm for the people, man," Gabbard replies, laughing. "I was speaking the truth, and speaking for a lot of people."

Gabbard and Stossel argue, too. Like most democrats, Gabbard would spend billions on expensive new programs. She backs Medicare for All and free college.

"Don't you think colleges already waste a lot of money?" Stossel asks.

Gabbard agrees, "They do. Absolutely. Why is it costing more and more and more every single year?"

"Look how much more it will cost when it's free," says Stossel.

Gabbard responds, "We have to deal with…the root cause of the problem. One of which is…how much administrators of a lot of these colleges are being paid or overpaid."

Stossel and Gabbard also argue over her proposal for a $15 minimum wage.

"How does that not destroy opportunity for a 17-year-old in his first job who isn't worth $15 an hour?" Stossel asks.

"I think we're looking at this as an investment in people," Gabbard answers. 

In the end, Stossel says, "I'm glad we could have a civil argument about some of these areas where we disagree. Few politicians want to do that anymore."

She adds: "Look, I love my country. You love our country. Let's come together as Americans with appreciation for our Constitution, our freedoms, civil liberties and rights, and have this civil discourse and dialogue about how we can move forward together."

That's just a fraction of Stossel's full 45-minute discussion with Gabbard. The full interview will be posted later this week. 

The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel; his independent production company, Stossel Productions; and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.

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  1. Ugh. Tulsi Gabbard is literally the worst Democrat running for President. In fact she’s probably the worst Democrat in the country.

    The White House is currently occupied by an illegitimate Russian intelligence asset (which Mueller proved); the last thing patriotic Americans should want is another Russian stooge.


    1. In fact she’s probably the worst Democrat in the country.

      So your starting to soften on Donald Trump?

    2. All democrat candidates are tied for worst.

      1. Except for Warren, she’s in a class by herself.

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    4. Stop. Buying into a false narrative. The worst? Worse than Sanders? Harris? Biden?

  2. Has Gabbard spoken out yet on Trump’s decision to move like 30 U.S. troops from Kurdish areas in Syria? While there was bi-partisan condemnation of Trump;s move, was there also bi-partisan support?

    1. Move the dozen or so troops whose presence in that area backed up by our airpower was protecting our badass Kurdish allies to appease a Turkish authoritarian and then immediately threaten and alienate the Turkish leader. What the fuck is going on?

      1. It’s amazing how wrong you are in everything. You believe 30 troops were holding back any incursions into Kurdish territory.

        1. No you dumb pos I clearly stated that it was airpower and the presence of those few troops among the Kurdish forces that prevented the Turks from attacking the Kurds. You’re just so fucking stupid but that’s why you’re a Republican.

  3. Huh. Gabbard’s plan for family-owned restaurants is that you can only staff them with child labor from your own offspring. Cool.

    1. Well that will provide an incentive for people to produce children as they used to do on the family farm; then we won’t need immigrants any more. Win/win

      1. What makes you think you know better about the staffing plans that other people make for their own businesses? What makes you think you know better about the family planning decisions of other families!? Fuck off slaver.

        PS – the benefits of immigration to economics are well-documented and obvious, including greater diversity and competition in labor, products, processes, and cultural marketplace offerings.

        1. Worked well for the Romans.
          Except when it didn’t

        2. the benefits of immigration to economics are well-documented and obvious

          Sure, if you send your kids to a different, mostly white school district where Esperanza and Pedro are simply “the help.”

          1. Economic growth is a result of two factors: population growth and productivity growth. Population grows with births and immigration. Productivity grows with technology, competition, and deregulation. Just facts, guys, nothing ground breaking here. If you or your kids can’t compete with Esperanza and Pedro, despite the risk and investment they accepted to move to a more-free market, I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe consider moving somewhere where you can find your niche.

            If you’re concerned that immigrants benefit unfairly from broken governance processes and entitlements, that’s not an issue with immigration, that’s an issue with entitlements.

    2. I’m pissed that, when Gabbard made the comment about her family’s restaurant where All The Kids Helped, Stossel didn’t take the opportunity to ask her what the results might have been if her folks would have been mandated by law to Pay Each Child A Minimum Wage of $15 Per Hour!!!!!!!!!

      Missed a great opportunity, John… Why?

  4. Gabbard’s biggest fans now include John Stossel, Stormfront, Syria’s Assad.

    Is she positioning herself for a Republican rescue mission if Trump can’t or won’t run again?

      1. She’s sorta a useful idiot but at least she’s not a corrupt idiot.

        1. When Gabbard lied about Kamala Harris’ record, that was quite corrupt in my book.


          1. ends justified the means that time

        2. The irony of you calling someone a useful idiot.

          Oh wait…

          Nevermind, you’re not useful.

    1. Don’t forget about pot smoking surfers bruh – you forgot about them.

      Stormfront is a big supporter of Tulsi? I was not aware that they supported democratic women of color?

      1. If they support Gabbard they are Stormfronting wrong.

  5. Good on foreign intervention, bad on economics.

    To make up my mind, I’ll need to see more sweaty work out videos. (No, not of John Stossel)

    1. You and I seem to have similar impressions, Aloysious. Her foreign policy platform is generally in line with what mine might be if I were running for president.

      Economically, however, she and I are vastly different.

    2. Good on foreign intervention

      You’re going by what she says. You can bet that will change once she is in power, just like it did with Obama. The only question with Tulsi is whether she is naive enough to believe what she is saying, or whether she is outright lying.

      1. My impression is Tulsi has more of a backbone than Obama. For one thing, she served in the military, which might not be intellectually stimulating but is still no easy thing, with less than commensurate pay for labor worked. What’s the most selfless thing Obama did?

        She seems fairly open and transparent, for a politician. My bullshit detector is delicately tuned and I’m not seeing a lot of red flags. She’s very put together, but she’s running for POTUS so I would expect any sane adult to play the Most Handsome game.

        If it came down to her and Trump, I might actually vote Gabbard, if I voted. And if Republicans controlled at least half of Congress. If government is committed to spending itself into oblivion, it should be done honestly and the president should be someone with… good character.

        1. I’d gladly take Gabbard over Trump, and that’s even taking her exceptional economic policies into account. She’s probably the one candidate who would actually go through with pulling our troops out of Afghanistan, if not the entire Middle East.

    3. If Tulsi becomes president, can we still keep Milania as first lady?

      Hmm, I think we’ve got material for an artistic film here…

  6. “One of which is…how much administrators of a lot of these colleges are being paid or overpaid.”

    So let’s start with Deans of Social Responsibility and Diversity and Inclusion?

    1. They should be getting the ideal minimum wage….


  7. “You killed her [Harris] off,” Stossel says.

    And up to now that is the best thing she has done; now go for Warren already.

  8. We should give serious thought to drafting John Stossel for Libertarian candidate for President. The guy is gentlemanly enough to help save the Dems from misanthropic climate communism and fascination with foreign entanglements by letting saner voices be heard. Stossel would be an asset any American would be proud to support with a law-changing spoiler vote.

  9. “Democrats used to be the anti-war party” — really?

    WW I joined by Woodrow Wilson to make sure the fed-backed loans to Britain didn’t come a cropper.

    WW II joined by FDR after doing all he could to antagonize Japan and Germany.

    Korean War and Harry Truman.

    Vietnam War and JFK,LBJ.

    1. I think when they say that, they’re referring to a very brief time beginning in the 1970s that ended after Bush I (~1992.)

    2. yeah but 1968 so anti-war forever.

  10. She says her Afghanistan policy would have been: “Go in. Defeat Al-Qaeda. Get out.”

    Seems simple enough, until you realize this is exactly the sort of vague goal that saddled us with unending wars in the first place

  11. I think she’s attractive. Let’s put a pretty woman in the White House. (I mean as president – we already have a beautiful first lady in the White House, although I don’t think she spends much time there….).

    1. You think that will get a rise out of the other Presidents?

      Apart from Merkel.

    2. Not gonna lie; I would. It’s doubly effective since her opponent resembles an orange hued corpse.

  12. You know who else sounded good before he became president? Obama, the anti-war, pro-civil-liberties, pro-privacy, post-racial, pro-free market candidate; the candidate that turned into a war mongering, civilian killing, domestic spying, election interfering, racist, big-government jerk that handed out trillions to Wall Street and shit all over the free market (with, as it turns out, a corrupt VP that he protected).

    Tulsi’s mask isn’t even as good as Obama’s.

    1. Tulsi’s mask isn’t even as good as Obama’s.

      Disagreed. I would choose to be lied to by Tulsi’s mask over Obama’s every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

      1. Tulsi’s Sunday Lies would make a nice band name.

        1. It’s kind of unwieldy for the band name; might make it an album title.

  13. She adds: “Look, I love my country. You love our country. Let’s come together as Americans with appreciation for our Constitution, our freedoms, civil liberties and rights, and have this civil discourse and dialogue about how we can move forward together.”

    Gosh, but doesn’t that sound great? Except for the fact that for a Democrat, “move forward together” means “make government bigger and more intrusive.”

    And there go our freedoms, civil liberties and rights.

    1. So true, that’s why she is decriminalizing drugs… oh wait… what did you say?

  14. S: You support a minimum wage of 15?hr, yet you have no experience with the hardships this places on laber…

    T: Well my parents used to make work in their restuaurant fo free so they wouldn’t have to pay to hire anyone.


  15. Can we really trust someone who neither smokes nor drinks?

  16. Gabbert may have bussed tables and washed dishes in the family business BUT did she count the money coming in and sign the checks going out? According to her bio she has been a professional politician all her life. Her father was even a state senator. Stossel should have known this and called her on it.

  17. Thank you for giving Tulsi the opportunity to speak. #tulsi2020

  18. The White House is currently occupied by an illegitimate Russian intelligence asset (which Mueller proved); the last thing patriotic Americans should want is anotherRussian stooge.

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