WASHINGTON – Saying she "lacks the temperament" to be president, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard slammed Democratic presidential primary opponent Sen. Kamala Harris as not qualified to be the nation's next commander in chief.
"Kamala Harris is not qualified to serve as commander in chief and I can say this from a personal perspective as a soldier," Gabbard said during an interview on Fox Sports Radio posted online Tuesday. "She's got no background or experience in foreign policy and she lacks the temperament that is necessary for commander in chief."
Harris experienced a bump in polling following the first 2020 Democratic primary debate after her powerful exchange with frontrunner Joe Biden. Harris called out the former vice president for opposing federally mandated busing to integrate schools while he was in Congress.
Gabbard, however, has since criticized Harris for engaging in that exchange with Biden, because it was, in Gabbard's view, "underhanded."
"Personal attacks just for the sake of trying to push yourself forward in the campaign I think are underhanded," she said during an interview with "The View" on Monday.
The Hawaii Democrat is currently polling in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field at an average of 1%, according to Real Clear Politics. She has repeatedly touted her experience in her state's Army National Guard, where she currently serves as a major.
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Both Harris and Gabbard will share the stage on the second night of the upcoming Democratic debate in Detroit. The debates will take on July 30 and 31 with ten candidates on stage together on each night.
In a tweet Tuesday, the Harris campaign's communications director responded to Gabbard's comments about Harris not being qualified to serve as commander in chief.
"Definite hard pass on taking national security advice from Assad's cheerleader," Lily Adams wrote. Gabbard met with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in 2017 and earlier this year said Assad "is not an enemy of the United States because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States."
Definite hard pass on taking national security advice from Assad's cheerleader. https://t.co/X7aCVW9Jxi
— Lily Adams (@adamslily) July 23, 2019
Gabbard said in the Fox Sports Radio interview that Harris' lack of military experience would cause her to "fall under the influence of the foreign policy establishments and military-industrial complex."
"I've seen the cost of war firsthand and experienced the consequences of what happens when we have presidents, as we've had from both political parties, in the White House who lack experience and lack that foreign policy understanding," she said.
"This is what is so dangerous. This is what we've seen occurring over time," she continued.
Gabbard pointed to her experience as a soldier for over 16 years and her seats on the House Foreign Affairs and the House Homeland Security committees to support her assertion that she is the best fit to sit in the Oval Office.
"I'll be prepared on Day One to walk into the Oval Office and fulfill that most important responsibility the president has, which is to serve as commander in chief," she said in the radio interview.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tulsi Gabbard: Kamala Harris 'not qualified' to be president