Former Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard equated being in Congress to being in high school during a recent interview with Megyn Kelly.
Gabbard said on Kelly’s podcast “The Megyn Kelly Show” that there are “well-intentioned members” from both parties in Congress who want to work together but that ultimately partisan interests corrupt genuine intent.
“If that is not in line with what the party wants, then you have threats of, if you do this, we’re not gonna back you up with any money or support in your re-election,” Gabbard said. “If you do this, you’re not going to get the committee you want or you’ll get yanked off the committee that you’re on.”
“If we’re being serious it’s like high school.”
Gabbard said after being sworn into Congress, newly elected representatives were given a brief orientation and were able to spend time with fellow representatives. However, representatives were soon “separated into camps.”
“Democrats went here and started meeting in different places,” Gabbard told Kelly. “Republicans met in different places, and very directly the narrative and the directive was kind of set from the leadership that hey, this is about winning the next election.”
Gabbard said members were told to limit their work with politicians from the other side of the political aisle out of fear that the opposing side would use bipartisan-passed bills to win the next election. (RELATED: Tulsi Gabbard Bucks Party, Supports SCOTUS Decision That Reined In Andrew Cuomo)
“The hard partisanship line was set from the get-go like hey, this is our team, that’s their team. We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys. You don’t help the quote-unquote, enemy.”
Gabbard said even Republicans were allegedly told similar things, noting the motivation to get things done was based solely off partisan purposes and winning elections.
Gabbard said that well-intentioned members of Congress who were willing to work across the aisle were threatened that they’d have re-election support withdrawn or that there would be no money given to a re-election campaign.
During a 2019 interview with Tucker Carlson, Gabbard said politicians on both sides of the aisle resort to “superficial attacks” when debating the military-industrial complex. Gabbard’s stance on foreign affairs often caused rifts with her and other Democrats.
“Constantly, I see, again, people from both parties instead resorting to name-calling or superficial attacks because they refuse to engage on the substance of this argument about why they continue to push for and try to wage these regime change wars ignoring the disastrous consequences on the people in the countries and the American people,” Gabbard explained.
She also said in 2019 that the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump would divide the country.
“If impeachment is driven by these hyper-partisan interests, it will only further divide a terribly divided country,” Gabbard said. “Unfortunately, this is what we have already seen play out as calls for impeachment really began shortly after Trump won his election. As unhappy as that may make us as Democrats, he won that election in 2016.”