By Allan Stein
CHANDLER, Ariz.—Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard lambasted national Democratic Party leaders as “elitists” who no longer represent the party of individual freedom she once served at a rally supporting Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
“They have gone crazy—they have gone insane. There’s no other way to describe it,” Gabbard said.
“It’s kind of like the emperor has no clothes. Everybody sees what’s going on, but nobody wants to say it out loud.”
The rally on Oct. 18 drew hundreds of “America First” voters—many of them former Democrats—outside The Stillery in downtown Chandler, Ariz., as Lake logged more than 500 days on the campaign trail.
“We’re not just red-blooded Americans—we are red-white-and-blue-blooded Americans. We are ready to save Arizona,” Lake said to a cheering crowd.
During a one-on-one session, Lake welcomed Gabbard’s endorsement after a period of “soul-searching,” which led to her decision to leave the Democratic Party.
In announcing her disaffection, Gabbard described the Democratic leadership in Washington as a “cabal of warmongers.”
Lake said the radical transformation of the Democratic Party establishment in Washington and Arizona drives others also to abandon the party.
“This is a moment when we are all soul searching,” said Lake, a former anti-war Democrat who changed parties and abandoned a high-paying job as news anchor at FOX10, citing the organization’s slanted news coverage,
Gabbard, a former U.S. Army Reserve officer and political commentator representing Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District from 2013 to 2021, said she first ran for office in 2002 on an anti-war and environmental platform.
She described her former Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. as a thing of the past.
“Unfortunately, it no longer exists today. It’s a very different party,” Gabbard said.
“No matter how much the establishment in Washington—the powerful partisan elite—the special corporate interests seek to drown our voices, we, the people, hold power in our hands. And every one of you is proof of that,” she said.
Gabbard said the Democrat Party under President Joe Biden now represents division, “woke” identity politics, and “anti-white racism.”
“Every single problem now has been reduced to race,” she said. “They are using our taxpayer dollars to go into our elementary schools and tell kids you are either the oppressor or the oppressed because of the color of your skin.”
Several Republican voters at the gathering said Gabbard inspired them as a woman of principle who made a difficult choice to abandon her party.
“I was shocked,” said Carlos Parra of Chandler. “I heard her say that—very bluntly and boldly. I think she realized that immorality ruined the Democratic Party.
“They have no basis with the people anymore. As they say, power corrupts. They want more power to hurt the American people.”
He said Democrats no longer agree to be disagreeable, stifling dissent and are bent on starting wars.
“I think this administration is pushing many buttons for that to happen. I don’t know why that is so. It’s creeping into that, I think,’ Parra said.
James Luong of Chandler said Gabbard placing principle above party was “amazing.”
“I’m glad she’s finally standing up for what she believes in. I disagreed with many of her points, but she’s firm in what she believes. And there are a lot of things I do agree with her.”
The night rally on Oct. 18 also featured Arizona Republican candidates Blake Masters for U.S. Senate and Abe Hamadeh for state attorney general.
In supporting Lake, Gabbard said she and Lake share many of the same values of individual liberty and national security in a secure southern border.
“If you’re paying attention, you recognize what we share in common—Kari and I and everyone of you is that pride. It is the courage that comes with that pride. It is having clear eyes to recognize the very real problems that we face.
“It is clear eyes to recognize the threats to our safety, to our borders, to our communities, to our families and our kids, coming from today’s so-called woke radical Democrat Party.”
Gabbard said it is essential to have strong and accountable leaders—”not those that believe that they deserve the power,” who have “had a stranglehold on power for so long. They have forgotten what’s most important—the American people. We’re seeing it and feeling it every day.”
Gabbard said that people seem more willing to speak out against the political corruption in Washington gives her hope.
Her concern is that time is short.
“My concern is that if we continue down this path, we will get to a point where we cannot come back—that we will get to a point where we lose the country that we love.
“We can’t allow that to happen,” Gabbard said. “Our voices are more powerful than we think.”