Hawaii congresswoman and 2020 hopeful Tulsi Gabbard is the only Democratic presidential candidate that Russia views favorably, according to new data from the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Former FBI agent Clint Watts, who led the study, said Gabbard is “a great opportunity” for Russia because her rhetoric is similar to the Kremlin’s, particularly when it comes to U.S. foreign policy.
The data shows that 46 percent of Russian “mentions” of Gabbard were favorable since January, while just 10 percent were unfavorable – by far making her Putin’s favorite Democrat in the race.
Former vice president Joe Biden, on the other hand, appears to be Russia’s least favorite candidate.
Watts said the Gabbard’s stance on foreign policy “is a message that Russia wants Americans saying to Americans.”
REID: New data from the Foreign Policy Institute shows that Russia has already chosen its favorite and least favorite Democratic candidates. After analyzing more than 1,700 stories from Russian state media outlets, researchers found that Tulsa Gabbard not-so-surprisingly received the most favorable mentions among the 2020 field. Joining me now is Clint Watts, former FBI agent and he’s the research fellow responsible for the report. So, Clint … Tulsi is getting the most positive focus.
WATTS: Yeah, out of all the mentions that we’ve looked at, she doesn’t receive an overwhelming amount, but what she does is far more positive than what we’ve seen of the other candidates.
REID: And what are the mentions like? Talking about her in what way?
WATTS: Mostly in terms of her rhetoric that she says about the U.S. government. Its war stance, that it’s aggressive or imperialist, that’s sort of the nature of it. That the U.S. should stay out of places like Syria which matches what Russia wants. Russia does not want the U.S. in Syria anymore. And that really we should withdraw from world, which is a message that Russia wants Americans saying to Americans, so it’s a great opportunity for them.
The longer Tulsi Gabbard remains in the race, the more unclear it is why exactly she’s running for the Democratic nomination.
Throughout the campaign, her moments of most visibility come when she’s lobbing attacks at fellow Democrats or being reluctant to support an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump’s Ukraine shakedown.
To be sure, the Democratic Party’s tent is much larger than that of the GOP. But it’s unclear how a favorite of Russia who has spent more of her campaign attacking Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump has a path to the Democratic nomination.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.
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