By Jessica Hill
Former Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who recently made headlines for announcing that she was leaving the Democratic Party and becoming an independent, campaigned for Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Adam Laxalt in Las Vegas on Friday.
“Adam Laxalt needs to be that 51st senator that allows us, the American people, you the people of Nevada, to have a check on the power that this administration is abusing, that is harming us as people in this country,” Gabbard said.
Laxalt is in a tight race with Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, although polls put Laxalt slightly ahead but within the margin of error.
Gabbard, who ran for president in the 2020 presidential election, announced Oct. 11 she was leaving the Democratic Party, calling the party “an elitist cabal of warmongers.” She served as the U.S. representative for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District from 2013 to 2021 and was the first Hindu member and the first Samoan-American voting member of Congress.
In front of the crowd of about 300 people at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country, Gabbard said the current Democratic Party is distracting and dividing the U.S. and is not addressing issues that are important to Americans.
“They’re not focusing on policy, they’re not focusing on substance because they’ve got nothing to stand on,” Gabbard said.
Gabbard touched on a variety of issues, such as graphic material taught in schools and public institutions like the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security being “weaponized” against Americans.
Republicans have criticized the FBI and other agencies after it started investigating former Republican President Donald Trump and raiding his Mar-a-Lago home.
She also repeated anti-transgender sentiments in regard to trans people participating in sports.
“(Cortez) Masto voted for allowing biological males to compete against biological females in schools. So we know how unfair this is,” Gabbard said.
Laxalt hit on high gas prices and inflation, as well as the never-enacted proposal known as the Green New Deal, vowing to spend less.
“We’re not going to spend any more money. We’re not going to create 87,000 new IRS agents,” Laxalt said.
He also criticized the credibility of polls, with some putting him ahead and some putting him behind. He had the crowd raise their hands if they participated in a poll, and only a couple responded. Laxalt, who was the face of Trump’s false stolen election claims in Nevada in 2020, advocated for voter ID and said Republicans will ban ballot harvesting. In the last 11 days before the midterms, he encouraged people to knock on doors and support him.
“I believe if we don’t win this race, we are never going to win elections in this state again,” Laxalt said.
Gabbard said Cortez Masto is spending a lot of money “pretending to be somebody that she’s not.” She said Cortez Masto votes 100 percent of the time with President Joe Biden. In fact, she has the lowest percentage of Democrats when it comes to voting with Biden, although she’s still at 92.9 percent, according to the website FiveThirtyEight.
Gabbard encouraged the attendees to find people who haven’t decided for whom they are voting and encourage them to vote for Laxalt.
“If we’re pissed off about the direction that we are headed, if we are angered by how far and quickly our country has spiraled downward over the last two years, don’t just complain about it. Take action,” Gabbard said.
“We have a responsibility to take ownership of our country and our future,” she added.
Cortez Masto’s campaign spokesperson Sigalle Reshef said in a statement that Republicans across Nevada, as well as members of Laxalt’s own family, endorse Cortez Masto, while Laxalt brought in another politician who has pushed election fraud lies. Gabbard had spread false information about alleged voter fraud in the district of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
Gabbard joined a parade of big names campaigning in Nevada ahead of the Nov. 8 midterms. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigned for Cortez Masto and other Democrats at multiple events on Friday in both Reno and Las Vegas. On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. stumped for Laxalt, and next week former President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will campaign for Nevada Democrats.
Contact Jessica Hill at email@example.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.