Tulsi Gabbard

Stossel: Tulsi Gabbard Full Interview

Stossel's full interview with Tulsi Gabbard covering war, drugs, free healthcare, free college, the minimum wage, and more.


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This is John Stossel's full interview with Democratic Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. To watch an excerpted version, click here.

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."

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.

NEXT: John Stossel Interviews Tulsi Gabbard

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  1. There’s a lot to dislike about Tulsi (and a lot to like), but she performed a service to mankind by torpedoing Harris’ campaign.

    1. You may be right. Attorney General might be a better spot for Sen. Harris. There will be a lot of brush-cutting to do at the Department of Justice in a couple of years.

      1. I thought ‘brush cutting’ the Department of Justice was an impeachable offense according to your ilk?

      2. Rev. Kirkland you are so wrong. This young warrior is the very best either side could ever offer. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, makes no difference…she has so many of each on her 6. Why do you find her ideas so crazy? Republican? Christian who doesn’t know what a true Christian is? One who believes Trump is the “chosen one” as he does? Tulsi Gabbard is the only one speaking any truth or logic. LISTEN! With open ears, not Republican ears.

    2. You are correct.

      Like: Nuked Harris from orbit and foreign policy
      Dislike: just about everything else

      Would still prefer her over the other candidates though. She at least seems reasonable and more willing to work with the other side.

      1. She’s also hot, something rare in that geriatric crowd.

    3. She did and when Harris started her campaign I was certain that the DNC will groom her to be the next Hillary, especially after her notorious “that little girl was me” campaign. So yes, Tulsi might be as bad as the next Dem, but she did manage to pop a big ugly pimple on live TV.

  2. This has to be the most glaring example of the crazy amount of power and influence wielded by the military-industrial-political complex. Gabbard checks every box that the democrats could possibly hope for in a candidate. It would be interesting to see a parallel universe where she held mainstream foreign policy views. I’d imagine the DNC and media would be playing her up as the next (female) Obama.

    1. You are severely confused. It’s Stormfront and Assad that love Rep. Gabbard. Most Democrats are ambivalent at best with respect to her odd collection of positions.

      1. “It’s Stormfront and Assad that love Rep. Gabbard”
        Why would anyone give a shit one way or the other what those assholes think? They seem to be among your many unhealthy obsessions.

        “Most Democrats are ambivalent…”
        That’s kind of my point.

      2. So you’re one of those pro war democrats? Huh. Never met one before. Wild stuff.

    2. I tend to agree. Gabbard is the kind of Democrat that I might disagree with, but I think she actually believes what she says. That’s not such a bad quality in a politician these days.

      That said, a $15 minimum wage isn’t a great idea. Democrats continually pretend localities can’t set their own minimum wages, and often do. They are always surprised to discover cost of living varies.

      On government tuition plans I agree with Stossel as usual, if you think college is expensive now just wait until it’s ‘free’. It’s obvious to most intelligent people that government is to blame for ever-increasing tuition costs.

      1. Yeah, for sure. I disagree with her on most issues, especially economics. However, all those issues are right in line with the Democrat platform and agenda. So it’s very telling that a well-spoken, charismatic military vet with an unblemished record would receive an obvious cold-shoulder when her only real policy divergence is her stance on military interventionism.

      2. I think on some stuff BSing her way through… whether or not she’s drinking her own kool-aid I haven’t made up my mind about, but its definitely BSing…

        Like changing positions 180 degrees on same-sex marriage and then saying its because being in a war overseas taught her about liberty. I don’t believe that at all.

        And her views on foreign policy are more muddled and full of virtue signalling than people admit. For example, saying our mission should have been to go in, get al-Qaeda and get out, when she knows full well al-Qaeda would regroup after we left. She just recently criticized Trump for how he abandoned the Kurds in Syria, but said Trump should have gotten out earlier — which still would have abandoned the Kurds. She support returning the JCPOA, which means she thinks Iran is potential nuclear threat — otherwise why support the JCPOA instead of saying “screw it, let Iran do what they want” — but then says any action against Iran is only about getting in the middle of a Sunni-Shia conflict. So I appreciate her intentions on foreign policy, but I don’t really trust that she’d be a good at that when in office, because her positions are contradictory. Remember, Obama also ran on having opposed the Iraq War, then got us into Syria and Libya.

        1. Correct, she is full of bs and only shines in comparison the the even more deranged Dems…

  3. 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.

    So the solution is for govt to forcibly cut people’s pay?

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

    So the solution is for govt to forcibly increase people’s pay?

    1. Here we call that “picking winners and losers.”


    3. Certainly the pay raises (or even the total cost) of college administration is not going up at the rate that tuition is going up. Easy money = high prices. Guarantee anyone a home loan, and you’ll find housing prices inflating, then you’ll see foreclosures when they can’t afford their payments, and the housing market tanks.

    1. Unfortunately, while Tulsi Gabbard holds rational positions on defense, her rationality does not extend to economics. The minimum wage is institutionalized sexism and racism and always has been. Its true purpose can be found by what it accomplishes – the minimum wage makes it impossible for certain people to find employment.

      In the 1920’s there were minimum wages solely for women that kept them from being able to leave abusive relationships since they couldn’t find work. The Davis-Bacon Act was passed to stop black workers from the south from competing with northern white union members.

      Gabbard, like most progressives, is totally ignorant of history, primarily because progressives have dominated primary and secondary education. Taught that workers were exploited by market forces, of course she advocates price controls on wages.

      Gabbard is easy to like because of her anti-war positions as well as her obvious intelligence and ability to communicate. However, her sincerity and dedication to bad ideas makes her a more dangerous candidate than the lying hypocrites leading her in the polling. Flip flopping weather vanes like Biden follow the polling trends but true believers like Gabbard can do far more damage because people tend to trust sincerity.

      The best thing that can happen in the 2020 elections would be for a meteor to strike the presidential debate platform and send both candidates to the next world keeping them from wrecking this one.

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  6. “Democrats used to the antiwar party.”

    Seriously, when was this? American interventionism began with Woodrow Wilson, went through FDR, Truman, LBJ, JFK, Carter, Clinton, Obama, etc. (Carter is a slight exception in he managed to avoid direct involvement but armed the the mujahideen).

    Both parties have had their anti-war wings, but the party establishments have been both pretty interventionist for the longest time, and the tradition began with Democrats, to which Republicans only acceded to later on.

    The only major difference has been Democrats tend to prefer international coalitions under the name of “peacekeeping” and justify war to prevent atrocities, while Republicans are more willing to go it alone and use US national security as a defense.

    Just because some rank-and-file progressives like to imagine their party is the anti-war party, doesn’t mean it ever was in reality.

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