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That time Tulsi Gabbard fully destroyed Kamala Harris over her record as a California prosecutor

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Sen. Kamala Harris has come under renewed scrutiny after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced she would be his running mate on Tuesday.

Notably, the California Democrat’s reputation as a ‘law-and-order’ prosecuting attorney in San Francisco and later, as the state’s attorney general, are coming back into sharp focus as a contrast to the party’s shift towards less harsh sentencing, especially for minorities.

A back-and-forth between Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Harris during a Democratic debate in July 2019, in particular, began trending on social media Wednesday following the Biden camp’s announcement.

CNN debate moderator Jake Tapper asked Gabbard to respond to her criticism of Harris following a previous debate, in which the California senator characterized Biden as a racist over his segregationist busing views from the 1970s.

“I want to bring it back to the broken criminal justice system that is disproportionately, negatively impacting black and brown people all across this country to date,” Gabbard began.

“Now, Sen. 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,” the Hawaii Democrat continued.

“There are too many examples to cite but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” Gabbard added, in reference to an interview Harris did with New York’s “The Breakfast Club” morning radio program in February 2019, in which she admitted partaking in the drug.

“She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so,” Gabbard went on. “She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.”

Harris responded to Gabbard’s allegations forcefully.

“I think that it’s unfortunate that we have someone on the stage who is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States who, during the Obama administration, spent four years, full-time, on Fox News criticizing President Obama,” she said.

“Full time, criticizing people on this stage, as affiliated with the Democratic Party,” she continued. “When Donald Trump was elected, not even sworn in, buddied up to [then-presidential adviser] Steve Bannon to get a meeting with Donald Trump in the Trump Tower.

“Fails to call a war criminal by what he is, as a war criminal,” Harris continued — a reference to Gabbard’s hesitation to use the label to describe Syrian President Bashar Assad, who was accused of using a banned chemical weapon against rebels — “and then spends full-time during the course of this campaign, again, criticizing the Democratic Party.”

Notably, however, Harris did not address or refute Gabbard’s central claims: That she used her positions as a prosecutor for San Francisco and the state of California to incarcerate minorities for otherwise minor drug charges.

Others voiced their opinions of Gabbard’s characterization of Harris’ prosecutorial record online. (** Language warning)

Jon Dougherty

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