Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard suggested during a Thursday congressional hearing that Google throttled her incipient 2020 presidential campaign by temporarily denying her access to an advertisement account.
Gabbard ran in the Democratic presidential primary in 2020, when she was the most-searched candidate following the party’s initial debate. However, she never polled higher than five percent nationally, won only two delegates and endorsed nominee Joe Biden after dropping out in March 2020. Gabbard suggested during the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government’s inaugural hearing that her inability to gain traction in the polls was due in part to Google’s suspension of her campaign’s advertising account.
“After the first Democratic primary presidential debate in 2019, I was the most-searched candidate of the night. Unfortunately and suddenly, my Google ads account was mysteriously suspended without any notice or explanation. There were no responses to our multiple attempts to resolve whatever problem could have caused this. But after some time pass magically, my account was reinstated, again with no explanation or apology,” Gabbard testified.
Government isn’t the arbiter of what can or cannot be said, who can speak, or who can worship!
📺 : @TulsiGabbard pic.twitter.com/e6ABQZwVN5
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) February 9, 2023
The Gabbard campaign’s Google ads account was reportedly suspended for roughly six hours between June 27-28, 2019. She sued the tech giant for $50 million shortly after, alleging it violated her free speech rights and acted as a government censor. A federal judge rejected the lawsuit, ruling Gabbard and her campaign did not explain “how Google’s regulation of its own platform is in any way equivalent to a governmental regulation of an election.” (RELATED: ‘Freedom Of Speech Is Being Threatened’: Tulsi Gabbard Defends Joe Rogan Against Critics’ Attempts To Censor Him)
“Their actions limited my ability to connect with voters who were actively seeking more information about my candidacy and why I was offering to serve them as president commander in chief. This is not only happened to me. It’s happened to other candidates running for various offices. Joe Kent running for Congress in Washington state is one I know personally of.”
Gabbard left the Democratic Party in October 2022, alleging it is led by an “elitist cabal of warmongers.” She later endorsed several Republicans in the 2022 midterms, including Kent and Adam Laxalt in Nevada. Gabbard also signed a Fox News contributor contract in November 2022, and has guest-hosted “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”