Harris's spokesman explains Tulsi's takedown of Kamala: It was Russia!
On Wednesday night, that meant that Gabbard got to go after Kamala Harris on her actions as attorney general, using loaded phrases and selected statements to paint Harris as someone who was ready to throw pot-smokers behind bars for eternity and personally throw the execution switch for death row inmates after hiding evidence of their innocence.
There’s no doubt that Harris will face more kicks about her AG role during this campaign, and she certainly expected to receive some blows. But Gabbard knew she could square off with Harris in the certainty that no one, but no one, came into the Wednesday night debate thinking, “I need to prepare some talking points against Tulsi Gabbard.” And even if she had, CNN gave Harris little time to muster her thoughts before calling in more witnesses to bolster Gabbard’s attacks.
It wasn't just the tools on GOS that Tulsi knocked off balance, it was Harris herself. Even CNN noticed.
Worse than that -- for Harris -- is the fact that it became crystal clear in the aftermath of the debate that Gabbard had gotten under her skin. In a post-debate interview, CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Harris about the moment with Gabbard.
"This is going to sound immodest, but obviously I'm a top-tier candidate and so I did expect that I'd be on the stage and take some hits tonight," Harris said. "When people are at 0 or 1% or whatever she might be at, so I did expect to take some hits tonight."
First of all, if you are running for president and you hear the words, "This is going to sound immodest" come out of your mouth, it may be best to recalibrate what you are going to say.
Second, what Harris is actually saying is, basically, this: The dork took a shot at the most popular kid in school. Big whoop.
That is not a good look. For any candidate. Ever. (And, yes, politics is a LOT like high school.)
That's gonna leave a mark.
But never fear, because there is a reason for Harris getting taken down by Gabbard - Russia.
The #KamalaHarrisDestroyed hashtag had disappeared from the list of trending U.S. terms by 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Harris's spokesman, Ian Sams, responded to the hashtag, noting that at least some of the accounts promoting it appeared to be bots.
"The Russian propaganda machine that tried to influence the 2016 election is now promoting the presidential aspirations of a controversial Hawaii Democrat," he said.
Reporters writing their stories with eyes on the modern-day assignment desk of Twitter, read this:
"The Russian propaganda machine that tried to influence the 2016 election is now promoting the presidential aspirations of a controversial Hawaii Democrat"https://t.co/2kpKQqW3Ir
— Ian Sams (@IanSams) August 1, 2019
Damn! Putin was on the debate stage and no one noticed?
That has got to be the weakest response in recent history.
Here's the thing, the Harris campaign is already guilty of crying wolf over Russia.
Harris has already been caught misrepresenting alleged Russian propaganda activity. She claimed in a radio interview on July 12 that she had been subjected to Russian bot attacks on social media sites like Twitter.
But CNN debunked the claim days later, reporting that Twitter saw no evidence that Russian bots were targeting Harris.