In her third appearance on the show this year, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, appeared on “The View” Wednesday fighting back against those who have questioned her loyalty to her party and the country.
“It’s offensive to me as a soldier, as an American, as a member of congress, as a veteran, and frankly as a woman, to be so demeaned in this way,” Gabbard told the hosts. “I am a patriot, I love our country … I have dedicated almost my entire adult life to protecting the safety, security and freedom of all Americans in this country.”
Last month, Gabbard engaged in a tussle with former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who told David Plouffe on “Campaign HQ”, a podcast run by the 2008 Obama campaign manager, that a female 2020 candidate was a “favorite of the Russians” and is being “groomed” by Republicans for a third-party run.
The former secretary of state suggested President Donald Trump’s campaign would attempt to deflect votes from his Democratic opponent and direct them toward a third-party candidate. While there are currently five Democratic women running for president, and Clinton didn’t name-names, many have said her remarks appeared to be aimed at Gabbard.
Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill told CNN in response to a question about whether she was referring to Gabbard simply said “If the nesting doll fits.”
Gabbard responded later on, saying Clinton was a “queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”
“Hillary Clinton throughout her career has led with a foreign policy of interventionism and being the world’s police going and toppling dictators in other countries that has caused such destruction and loss of life. I’m against that,” Gabbard clapped back after the hosts asked her about the confrontation. “I’m running for president to change that. Rather than actually debate me on the issues, she and others are resorting to these smear tactic campaigns seeking to undermine me, smear my character and sending a message to anyone who dissents toe the line, or you too will be smeared.”
Gabbard was deployed to both Iraq and Kuwait as a Major in the Hawaii National Guard, and she’s called for the end of endless “regime change wars” throughout her candidacy for president.
In recent weeks, she has also been asked frequently if she would be running as a third party candidate. Gabbard told “The View” that she would only run as a democrat and came onto the show to “set the record straight.”
She added, “I’m running to build a New Democratic Party.”
When “The View” co-host Joy Behar asked Gabbard why she appeared on Fox News, she said she wanted to speak to the entire electorate.
“I am here to speak to every single American in this country about the unifying leadership that I want to bring as president, not just speak to those who agree with me,” she said. “But to speak to those who may disagree with me, recognizing that I’m asking for the opportunity to serve every single person in this country.”
The congresswoman is one of two Democratic women of color who are seeking the 2020 presidential nomination. Co-host Abby Huntsman asked her about electability in light of Sen. Kamala Harris recent comments about race and gender being the “elephant in the room.” Gabbard said, “I think the American people are ready for a president that will put people ahead of politics … put people ahead of profits.”
She added that in states like New Hampshire, where she campaigned yesterday, her campaign is building a coalition of diverse support, seemingly regardless of party affiliation.
“Yes, it crosses party lines. [It’s] people who are looking out for the best interest of our country, which by the way makes me the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump,” Gabbard said. “So that we can then begin to do the very important work that begins the morning after [the election], to bring about the systemic change.”
The lawmaker recently changed course on impeachment proceedings against Trump, joining a growing list of lawmakers supporting the inquiry.
Gabbard said after reading the transcript of a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that led to a whistleblower complaint, she had no choice.
“Up to this point, I have been opposed to pursuing impeachment because it will further divide our already badly divided country,” Gabbard said in a Sept. 27 press release from her campaign. “However, after looking carefully at the transcript of the conversation with Ukraine’s President, the whistleblower complaint, the Inspector General memo, and President Trump’s comments about the issue, unfortunately, I believe that if we do not proceed with the inquiry, it will set a very dangerous precedent.”
She said she didn’t want future presidents or other federal leaders to get the idea that its OK to abuse their position for personal gain without repercussion.
ABC News’ Kelsey Walsh, Christopher Donato, Meg Cunningham and Steff Thomas contributed to this story.