Tim Black: What I want to do is run through a list of what’s been happening with Tulsi Gabbard since last night and how the media has painted Tulsi Gabbard; how various people, blue checkmark people, various journalistic background people have very easily started to smear Tulsi Gabbard. We’ve seen this, I’ve seen it on Twitter, I’ve seen it on Facebook. I’ve seen it, I’ve watched it and clips across media networks, and I want to share a little bit of that with you. For anybody who was working last night was unable to watch the exchange between Tulsi Gabbard and Kamala Harris, let me bring you up to speed with this.
Tulsi Gabbard: I want to bring the conversation back to the broken criminal justice system that is disproportionately negatively impacting black and brown people all across this country today. Senator Harris says she’s proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she’ll be a prosecutor president, but I’m deeply concerned about this record. There are too many examples to cite, but she put over 1500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. She blocked evidence, she blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.
Q: Thank you, Congresswoman. Senator Harris, your response?
Kamala Harris: As the elected Attorney General California, I did the work of significantly reforming the criminal justice system of a state of 40 million people, which became a national model for the work that needs to be done. And I am proud of that work. And I am proud of making a decision to not just give fancy speeches or be in a legislative body and give speeches on the floor, but actually doing the work of being in the position to use the power that I had to reform a system that is badly in need of reform.
Q: Did you expect that from Tulsi Gabbard? Had you had interaction about that in the past, and how do you think it went?
Kamala Harris: Well, I mean, listen, this is going to sound immodest, but I’m obviously a top tier candidate. And so I did expect that I would be on the stage and take hits tonight because there are a lot of people that are trying to make the stage for the next debate.
Q: For a lot of them it’s do or die?
Kamala Harris: Well, yeah, and especially when people are at 0 or 1%, or whatever she might be. And so I didn’t expect that I might take hits tonight. But you know, listen, I think that this coming from someone who has been an apologist for an individual Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches, she who has embraced and been an apologist for him in a way that she refuses to call him a war criminal. I can only take what she says in her opinion so seriously, and so, you know, I’m prepared to move on.
Tim Black: So, before we even get into the responses, the allegations that Kamala Harris made about Tulsi Gabbard, I want to first, for us to take a look at the issues that were raised by Tulsi Gabbard, which is something that I’m not seeing anyone, Anderson Cooper. I’m not seeing Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, any of these networks that I’ve seen cover this issue, I haven’t seen them focus at all on the allegations that were made about Kamala Harris’s record. One of those allegations were marijuana, marijuana charges, she prosecuted 1500, marijuana civil possession charges and then she joked about smoking marijuana on The Breakfast Club with Charlemagne Tha God. That’s a hypocritical stance if there ever was one, someone who incarcerated people for doing something that she herself admits doing, jokingly.
No, I guess it’s not interesting to Anderson Cooper, it’s not interesting to the corporate media to make her answer that question. Well, why couldn’t Kamala Harris respond to that question? Death row inmate who was exonerated, DNA proved that he did not commit the crime but because some paperwork filing that wasn’t done within a certain amount of time, Kamala Harris was just fine with this man sitting on death row and possibly losing his life. Seems like the type of an issue that Anderson Cooper, CNN, MSNBC, Joe Scarborough would respond to, would at least ask Kamala Harris to respond to. Not only did Kamala Harris not respond to the marijuana question or the question about the death row inmate, she didn’t respond to it last night during the debate. and after the debate sitting here with Anderson Cooper, she dismissed it again, she did not respond to it. And in true corporate media, sycophant fashion, Anderson Cooper let her get away with it.
Number three, incarcerated inmates, kept them longer than their intended time, in order to use them as prison labor. Folks, all of these things that we’re bringing up, all the things that Tulsi Gabbard brought up at that debate were things that you could Google and see that were brought up by papers of note. These are not obscure conspiracy theories. These are actual points of record from Kamala Harris’s record that need to be addressed, it should be addressed that we’ve been talking about for months, many of us and independent media. But as you can see here, Anderson Cooper didn’t want to hold her accountable for those issues, and not even asked her to respond to them. Number three, bail system. Now we all know bail system, people being locked up until they can make bail disproportionately affects who? It disproportionately affects poor people. And since black people tend to be more poor people, on average, due to a lot of issues concerning our you know, United States that we talked about daily, that’s going to disproportionately affect them. So, that bail system that Kamala Harris fought to keep in place was detrimental to the black community and to black people and white people, anybody who doesn’t have money. Why would Anderson Cooper or anyone else hold Kamala Harris accountable for that?
Once again, these are not made up ideas, these are not allegations of opinion. This is the facts. She fought to keep the bail system in place, while activists were trying to get it eliminated, so that more people could get out of jail, not lose their jobs, not lose their homes, some of them not lose their children while they’re incarcerated waiting on bail, waiting to see trial. They haven’t been convicted of anything. Bail is about not being convicted of anything, but not having the money to get out until you go have your day in court. So, all of these issues that Tulsi Gabbard raised, all factual, all verifiable, none of them smear tactics, none of them pulled out of thin air. All things that any of us can look up, all things that independent media that I’ve discussed on my channel, many others have discussed these things. Why didn’t any of the moderators not Don Lemon, not Dana Bash, no one made Kamala answer to those questions, but they made sure that Joe Biden did. They made sure that Joe Biden responded to his critiques. Not only did Tulsi Gabbard score points by raising valid questions, valid criticisms, that Kamala Harris is still yet to refute. Her version of, her way of refuting those accusations was to minimize the person asking those questions, and then gaslight about that person.
We’re not even going to get into it the allegations of Assad apologist, are accurate or not. We’re not going to get into that because that’s not germane to the questions that were asked. I’m not even going to entertain that because we first want to deal with the questions that Tulsi Gabbard raised in the debate that for some reason Kamala – that she has to– she’s polling too high to care about. So, you don’t get to in the democracy, you don’t get to say I don’t have to answer your questions because I’m more powerful than you, which is essentially what Kamala Harris’s response is. I’m more powerful than you, I’m polling better than you. Therefore, I don’t have to respond to your questions. Now, I don’t know what kind of a nominee the Democratic Party wants to have leading their party, I don’t know what kind of moral high ground they want to stand on, but I fail to see how a person who is unable to respond when asked questions, and then points to an elitist tactic like, “Hey, I’m more powerful. I’m more liked, or I’m bigger and badder than you.” How’s that going to play with Donald Trump? I’d like to know. So, your prosecutor, she’s always talking about she’s a great prosecutor and she’s going to prosecute the case against Donald Trump. Well, what about Donald Trump when he asked you a question like, “Hey, what about that marijuana?” What are you going to say? What are you going to bring up, something about Melania Trump? Are you going to answer questions?
So, my thing is, are we going to answer questions or are we just going to play smear tactic after smear tactic to avoid answering tough questions? Kamala Harris said she expected these lower rung people who aren’t on her tier to come after her. Well if you expected it Kamala, why weren’t you better prepare? If you expected people on a lower tier, similar to you when you came out to Joe Biden because you’re not Joe Biden’s tier level. So, you’re not in the Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden area, at least not in my book. I don’t see you there or in Elizabeth Warren’s stratosphere, so to speak. You’re not on their level. You’re in the middle level between them and Pete Buttigieg people of that, you know. So what were you doing when you were calling out Joe Biden, were you also looking to get camera time? Were you also trying to make the best, were you also trying to make a name for yourself? I just find it very hypocritical that when Kamala Harris calls out Joe Biden, it’s perfectly fine and she has an upstanding reason for it and everything’s aboveboard. But when she’s called out to defend her own record, now it’s a baseless attack. I don’t think most of Americans agree with Kamala Harris that this was a baseless attack.
But what has now turned into a smear campaign against Tulsi Gabbard has also backfired on Kamala Harris because here is what people are saying about Kamala Harris, this is what’s trending on Twitter; Kamala Harris destroyed. Hashtag Kamala Harris destroy. This has been trending since early this morning. The only problem I have with this hashtag is I don’t think it’s actually true. And what I mean by that is based on everything that I’ve seen on these networks, what I’ve seen from the blue checkmark staff of neoliberals, who are part of the corporate media infrastructure, who derive paychecks from corporte media, or from the DNC or any way influenced by the DNC, most people do not want Kamala Harris to have the answer for Kamala Harris. And what they’ve done instead is gone after Tulsi Gabbard with a series of smears. They now say that Tulsi Gabbard is not a congress person of Good Standing. They’re now not saying that Tulsi Gabbard is a patriot who has served in our military, who put her life on the line numerous times to defend our country and our flag. Now they’re calling her Russian bot. Now she has been put into the soup with Donald Trump. She wasn’t a Russian bot when she was a friend of Hillary Clinton before she decided to support Bernie Sanders and step down from the Vice Chair position at the DNC though. But now she’s a Russian bot because she calls out Kamala Harris. Here goes a clip from The View discussing this earlier today, I don’t know if you had a chance to see it.
Sunny Hostin: I thought that Kamala didn’t do as well as she did during the first debate because she had that breakout moment in the first debate. But I think she does need to do better in terms of defending her record as a prosecutor because we are a nation of laws, and that should be a positive as opposed to a negative. And I thought that Tulsi Gabbard wanted to come for her because she is more of a fringe candidate because her numbers are very low.
The Republicans like Tulsi.
Sunny Hostin: The Republicans like her and you know, I think she’s a real Trojan horse here because when you look at her record in particular, she’s apologized for it but she was very anti LGBTQ community. She also has praised Trump for meeting with Kim Jong Un three times. She was one of 47 House Democrats who joined her Republican colleagues voting for a measure that would halt Syrian and Iraqi refugees from resettling in the US. She’s also refused to call Assad a war criminal and she refused to do it last night. And then per an NBC news report Russian propaganda machines favors Gabbard. So, when I look at all of that, I’m concerned that she is attacking Harris and I’m concerned that she has any traction in this– [crosstalk]
…throwing money at her. Yeah.
Meghan McCain: So, I agree that her– when she came on the show, you and I asked her about it. I believe you brought up Venezuela. I’m not expunging that. But I will say the idea that because she got a really good blow into Kamala and smoked her on an issue talking about how she put people in jail for smoking weed and then bragged about how she smoked weed on the radio was a great line, she landed a big blow on what was the frontrunner last time. The idea that she’s now a Trojan horse is just political..
Ana Navarro: I don’t know about that though, the Trojan horse thing, maybe I’m paranoid but you know, after Jill Stein, I am paranoid. There’s a ton of– a lot of writings on it today on Tulsi. And I’d like to say I disagree with her vehemently on foreign policy in particular, but I’m seeing people who used to dislike her tremendously now all of a sudden, like her. And there’s a lot of writings in things like Russia today. There’s a lot of Russian bot traffic around Tulsi. There’s something going on. I suspect it’s not knowingly by her because I think she’s a decent human being who served this country. But I don’t know.
Meghan McCain: I like parts of her because she’s coming combat veteran, she’s talking about patriotism in a way that I have heard no other candidate other than Biden talk about. She’s pro gun, she’s pro military, she’s speaking a lot of ways that is resonating with Republicans that have– By the way, did I or do I not make sure that we put in that the gentleman that was poisoned by Putin got in the show because I didn’t think it was getting enough publicity in the media. So, the idea that I’m somehow watching RT, by the way, I can’t even traveled to Russia because my family’s sanctioned from going there and I liked her at the same time– [crosstalk]
Ana Navarro: Nobody’s talking – you. I’m talking about other people. I mean, just because I’m making a reference doesn’t mean it’s a reference to you, [??? 15:34]
Meghan McCain: But I am in the Venn diagram of what you just said, I am that person. I am a Republican who thinks what she’s saying is interesting. So that’s the [crosstalk]
That’s why I say the Republicans like her and that’s why they’re going to start throwing money at her. So, just keep your eye on her out there, yeah. [crosstalk]
Meghan McCain: And you know what, God forbid Republicans like any of the Democratic candidates in any way, just blood let every independent and Republican who’s curious about any democratic candidate, and at the same time, keep attacking Obama and his wife. [crosstalk] I mean, really winning strategy guys.
Ana Navarro: I will tell you, her best friend – used to be– she used to be very close to Adam Kissinger, a Republican. They were both combat veterans, that was also– [crosstalk]
Meghan McCain: He is also a friend of mine, by the way.
Ana Navarro: Okay, and he’s a friend of mine, too. And that relationship has ended because of her apologizing for Assad because she went and visited with Assad because she can’t call him–
Meghan McCain: I’m not supporting her. I just think what you’re saying is interesting and I think the idea that she got– because she got a big hit on Kamala, now she’s a Russian stooge.
Tim Black: I mean, does the hypocrisy get any bigger than this? I mean, they’re deeply in the waters of hypocrisy right now and everybody’s drowning. I hate the fact that I got to agree with Meghan McCain on this. I mean, this just feels weird. I mean, I seldom ever agree with her, and now I have to because yeah, it does seem a whole lot like she gets a hit on Kamala Harris and all of a sudden everyone’s got their talents out sharpened. The daggers are coming for Tulsi Gabbard suddenly, in a way that’s unprecedented.
Sunny Hostin: And I thought that Tulsi Gabbard wanted to come for her because she is more of a fringe candidate because her numbers are very low.
The Republicans like Tulsi.
Sunny Hostin: The republicans like her and you know, I think she’s a real Trojan horse here because…
Tim Black: I find it very interesting that Sunny Hostin is using the same language, the exact same language that Kamala Harris used.
Kamala Harris: This is gonna sound immodest, but I’m obviously a top tier candidate. And so I did expect that I would be on the stage and take hits tonight because there are a lot of people that are trying to make the stage for the next debate.
Q: Yeah, for a lot of them it’s do or die?
Kamala Harris: Well, yeah and especially when people are at 0 or 1% or whatever she might be at. And so I did expect that I might take hits tonight.
Tim Black: Is it just a coincidence that Sunny Hostin, happens to choose the same words? It’s amazing because when Tulsi Gabbard was on The View last time, Sunny wasn’t talking this way. But all of a sudden, now she’s a Trojan horse. She wasn’t a Trojan horse in the last debate when she called out, was it Tim Ryan? I’m just wondering, when did she– I mean, I’m just thinking if you are– what is the Trojan horse and a plant by Russia? Wouldn’t that be something that would be like a long term commitment is all I’m saying. And all I’m saying is, this is the second debate. So, was she also a Trojan horse, was she also a plant, which she also all these negative things; was she that when she was besting Tim Ryan on the issue of diplomacy, on the issues of regime change wars and engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq? Bots exist on the internet for all types of reasons. I have yet to hear anybody provide any evidence that bots are helping Tulsi Gabbard. None. Just call me paranoid but no, I’ll just call you a conspiracy theorist and delusional Ana Navarro and devoid of facts. Shouldn’t you have to present a fact to make a statement like that?
And okay, let’s say you’re right, that there are bots. Why couldn’t there be bots pretending to be Russian in order to give you the talking point to discredit Tulsi Gabbard? Couldn’t it be the other way, is what I’m trying to say? I mean, if you say they’re a bots supporting her, well couldn’t there be bots posing as Russians so that you could be able to then say Russians are helping Tulsi? Couldn’t there be a disinformation campaign going on right now that disguises themselves as looking like Russian bots, so that way you can be able to say Russian bots are helping Tulsi Gabbard? I think that’s very much as credible as the allegations that you’re making. My theory has no supporting evidence, neither does yours. But for some reason, you think yours is more valid and you get to see it on the network channel. You get to say it to me millions of people without having any facts.
Now, before I play my last clip, I just want to point out how repugnant it is that as an African American man, I have to sit here and defend my dislike for a person who has the background of a Kamala Harris as if I’m incapable of forming an opinion based on her background. And I also find it repugnant that any black person is not allowed to dislike a prosecutor, an Attorney General, whose job was to lock up people and throw away the key. A prosecutor and an Attorney General who’s on record saying we can’t let these incarcerated inmates go because we need to save money on California budget. She actually said that. If that would have been Joe Biden or Jeff Sessions, or basically any white guy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, you would not be fighting for Kamala Harris. You’re only fighting for Kamala Harris because she is a brown skin woman. If she was anyone else, no one else would have time for her, you would not be saying oh, we are a country of laws.
You’ll be then Sunny would be talking about how those laws are unjust, how those laws disproportionately impact black people and brown people and poor white people. That’s what the conversation would be. But since it’s Kamala, now you’re saying we’re a nation of laws, this should be a positive thing that she incarcerated, so many people in California to the point where judges had to demand she let some go home early because it was a hazard. Do you know how many people you have to lock up for judges to intervene and say you have to let some go Kamala, you’re just locking up too many people. It’s a hazard in our jails because you have so many people incarcerated. It’s disgusting. It’s hypocritical. It’s backstabbing. It’s beyond the offensive that the narrative is that any black person who does not support Kamala Harris hates themselves, is racist, or hates women, or any of that, any of it. And you don’t even need evidence, they can just throw it against the wall. And it’s not in this particular clip from The View but this is what I’ve seen repeatedly on Twitter.
One of my issues with Kamala Harris, besides all of the other issues, all of the many issues from the non prosecution of Steven Newton and his rip off, his rip off fraudulent practices that took homes away from working people in California, who Kamala Harris just so happens, didn’t prosecute, and just so happens took donations from, who Donald Trump also donated to Kamala Harris’s campaign. How many people know that? I wonder if it was anyone else, would it be just tidily swept under the rug? But since it’s Kamala Harris, I’m a sexist for bringing it up and I’m a racist for bringing it up. There are many candidates who are polling not as highly as Kamala Harris. Maybe it has to do with the preferential treatment she gets in the media. Maybe that has something to do with her polling well. But why aren’t you calling Jay Inslee, and I don’t know, gosh, there’s so many of these candidates, Bolton, there’s this is Bolton guy, De Blasio; all these candidates who are polling under 3% or 2%, why aren’t you call them fringe candidates?
Why is the only fringe candidate the only candidate I’ve seen, I’ve heard you refer to as a fringe candidate is Tulsi Gabbard? I thought maybe there’s like 15 candidates all polling within– What is Amy Klobuchar, if not a fringe candidate? What is Kirsten Gillibrand, if not a fringe candidate? Why aren’t you making the same allegations about Amy Klobuchar? Why aren’t you making the same allegations about Bill De Blasio? Why aren’t you making the same allegations about all the other candidates who have a vested interest in going after– You know, Bernie Sanders was attacked by five or six candidates at one time during the second debate? How many of them were called fringe candidates, and how many of them did you accuse of working with the Kremlin? Do you have any evidence at all that Tulsi Gabbard is working with the Kremlin? Now, I hope to interview her soon and I’m going to ask her, are you working with the Kremlin? Are you friends with Putin? Are you a bot? Do you know any bots? Have you brought any bots? I’m going to ask her that question. But you should have to have some form of evidence to flow the theory that way.
When she was San Francisco’s DA, she did not– she had a crime lab scandal, where the evidence was tainted and Kamala Harris didn’t want to throw out the tainted evidence. She would have rather risk locking up people for crimes they didn’t commit with evidence that was faulty and found to be tainted than to throw out that evidence. What about the San Francisco, the clergy that she didn’t want to prosecute as sexual abusers? What about that, the Archbishops and the clergyman who have been hurting children? Kamala Harris decided not to prosecute them. Why didn’t she turn over that information to those survivors? I mean, there’s a laundry list of issues that we could talk about with Kamala Harris, but it doesn’t seem like anybody’s interested in talking about them. It seems like all you want to do is find excuses for Kamala Harris, let her ignore based– accusations, not even accusations, ignore her own record, and I find it very hypocritical.
Now, just to kind of put a cherry on the top of this whole Kamala Harris game that we’re playing where I know you are, but what am, I know you are, but what am I thing that she’s doing with Tulsi Gabbard instead of answering questions about her own record, which she has no problem holding Biden accountable for his record, 30-40 years ago. But her own record of five years ago is off limits all of a sudden, and anyone who brings up what she did five years ago in the last job she had is suddenly a fringe candidate, a Putin bot or you know, some nefarious bad actor. That’s what it is. But I want to share with you a clip that solidifies– it may offer some insight to those people who want to know why people don’t respect Kamala Harris and why people have major questions about her not only being a front runner, but why she even considering herself to be a progressive?
Kamala Harris: Okay. So, I say with all love and warmth that part of the concern also for people who are progressive thinking and liberal minded, or just progressive thinking in terms of just fix it, fix it, is that we all have these posters in our closet that is attached to a stick, that we sometimes will cart out when we’re talking about criminal justice policy, and those statistics that you first heard when we opened it up, incarceration, and we run around with these signs; build more schools, less jails, build more schools, less jails. And we walk around everywhere, build more schools, we protest build more schools, less jails. Put money into education, not prisons. There’s a fundamental problem with that approach, in my opinion. And it’s this, I agree with that conceptually, but you have not addressed the reason I have three padlocks on my front door.
Tim Black: I find it hypocritical as hell that there are people who consider themselves progressive or liberal or democrats or whatever you call yourselves. Human beings who are human humanitarians who care about justice and equality, who like to stand on this idea that you are somehow the better party. I have a problem with anybody can watch that clip in that scene, from the sentiments that are displayed in that clip. This was Kamala Harris four years ago, five years ago, at the most. This is not a different time, this is not a bygone era where she had to work with segregationist. This is in Chicago at a meeting, a summit where she laughed and scoffed at the idea that people would want to build less prisons and put more money into education. Progressive thinking and liberal minded people; build more schools, less jails. She laughed at the idea of building more schools, less jails, she mocked people who supported the notion. But now because she’s running for the highest office in the land, all of a sudden now she’s a progressive.
See, this is why it’s so problematic having a prosecutor, an Attorney General, a DA run to be president. She was law and order just as badly, just as much as you detest sheriff, David Clarke, the jackass with the hat. Just as much as you detest Rudy Giuliani’s tactics of stop and frisk, just as much as you find abhorrent, Jeff Sessions lock them up and throw away the key mentality. You have to hold Kamala Harris responsible and accountable for her same mentality. And don’t just tell me it was a job. Maybe, just maybe folks, cops become president, nor should they run for president for a reason, at least not in the Democratic Party. Maybe Kamala just happens to be in the wrong party. Maybe she should be a Republican. They have a lot of room for Law and Order types. It fits more with who they say they are. Kamala Harris is a full progressive in her own words. And you can say the Russian bots are programming me or I’m working for Putin if you like, but I didn’t make that clip, and Tulsi Gabbard didn’t make that clip, and Jill Stein didn’t make that clip or forced her to say those things. And I would like to know why me as a black man with black children living in a black neighborhood, why should support a black candidate who thought it was fine to throw away the key on black children, and lock up their mothers if they miss school. I’d like to know why.