The Conservative Political Action Conference is almost here.
In addition to a number of high-profile Republicans slated to speak at the major event, there is at least one Democrat joining their ranks.
According to American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is expected to take the stage.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 21, 2022
While it is clear that many of Gabbard’s political positions do not align with mainstream conservatism, she is also seen as an outsider within her own party.
After all, she is not the type of far-left ideologue that modern-day Democrats embrace.
The Hill explained:
Gabbard’s scheduled appearance at CPAC, a gathering of conservative activists and elected officials, is unusual for a Democrat, though it won’t be the first time she’s rankled her own party.
The former Hawaii congresswoman has repeatedly criticized members of her own party, most recently President Biden, whom she accused earlier this month of unnecessarily escalating tensions with Moscow amid a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
News that Gabbard would be addressing CPAC this year was a hot topic on social media.
While some progressives denounced her decision, plenty of right-wingers celebrated the move.
What Tulsi Gabbard going to CPAC shows is just how huge the conservative tent can become. Meanwhile, Democrats require proof of pronouns, privilege, and vaccination for entry.
— David Marcus (@BlueBoxDave) February 21, 2022
CPAC is about the exchange of ideas. It isn’t an echo chamber. You’ll never see Democrats inviting conservatives to their events the way CPAC’s hosting Tulsi Gabbard as a speaker. Props to @mschlapp for running a great event.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) February 21, 2022
Gabbard used her long-shot White House bid in 2020 as a platform from which to criticize fellow Democratic candidates.
She offered a particularly harsh assessment of 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
At one point during the campaign, then-candidate Kamala Harris hit back at Gabbard for taking shots at her own party.
According to Politico:
When Harris was asked to respond, the California senator came ready.
“I think that it’s unfortunate that we have someone on this stage that is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, who during the Obama administration spent four years full time on Fox News criticizing President Obama,” she shot back.
“That’s ridiculous,” Gabbard interjected, before getting bowled over by Harris.
Harris also noted that Gabbard had met with President Donald Trump during the transition period after the 2016 election, saying she “buddied up to Steve Bannon to get a meeting” with Trump and castigating Gabbard for her unwillingness to label Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad a “war criminal.”
“What we need on the stage in November is someone who has the ability to win,” Harris continued, evolving the attack into a pitch for unity.
It was Gabbard’s willingness to stand up to the Democratic Party elite that earned her some respect and admiration from conservatives.
Here is a clip of her taking on members of her own party during the 2020 campaign.
Do you support CPAC’s decision to include Gabbard as a speaker this year?