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Tulsi Gabbard to headline Mahoning GOP event

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI., nominates Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT., for President of the United States during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia . Gabbard, now an independent, will speak at a Republican dinner in Mahoning County, Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

CANFIELD — Tulsi Gabbard, a Fox News contributor who left the Democratic Party three months ago, will deliver the keynote address at the Mahoning County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day event March 10.

A VIP reception with Gabbard is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. with doors to the dinner opening at 6 p.m. at Waypoint 4180 in Canfield.

The VIP reception, which includes a photo with Gabbard but not a ticket for the dinner, is $350 per person. The cost for the dinner is $125 per person.

Tickets are available online at mahoninggop.com, the party’s website.

Gabbard unsuccessfully ran for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, after serving eight years in the U.S. House, representing a district in Hawaii. She grew increasingly conservative and openly critical of the Democratic Party in recent years. Gabbard became an independent in October.

During her four two-year terms in the House, Gabbard was a frequent guest on Fox News and was hired in November to be a paid contributor, which also includes serving as a fill-in host for Tucker Carlson on his show.

Gabbard campaigned for and endorsed several Republicans ahead of the last election. Most of them weren’t elected.

Among her successful endorsements was of Republican J.D. Vance on Nov. 1, a week before the election, over Democrat Tim Ryan. Vance won the U.S. Senate seat in Ohio by 6.11 percent.

In a Nov. 1 tweet, Gabbard wrote: “Tim Ryan represents everything that is wrong with the warmongering Washington establishment. I’m endorsing (Vance) because he knows the cost of war and that our government exists to serve the people, not the other way around.”

During a June 2019 debate in which Ryan and Gabbard were running for the Democratic nomination for president, the two argued over how to end the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

Ryan, who is a former 20-year congressman from Howland, said: “You have to stay engaged in these situations. Nobody likes it. It’s long. It’s tedious. So I would say we must be engaged in this.”

Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, responded: “As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable. We have to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.” The response drew applause.

Ryan later said that “if the United States isn’t engaged, the Taliban will grow, and they will have bigger, bolder terrorist acts. We have got to have some presence there.”

Gabbard then said: “The Taliban was there long before we came in. They’re going to be there long after we leave.”

During the argument, Ryan erroneously said: “When we weren’t in there, (the Taliban) started flying planes into our buildings.”

Gabbard corrected him, saying: “The Taliban didn’t attack us on 9/11. Al-Qaida did.”

Ryan said: “I understand that” and “the Taliban was protecting those people who were plotting against us.”

Both dropped out of the presidential election and endorsed Democrat Joe Biden.

Among those who have spoken at Mahoning Republican events in the past few years are:

l Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was press secretary for former President Donald Trump and was elected in November as Arkansas governor;

l Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s former campaign manager;

l U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, who is now chairman of the House Judiciary Committee;

l Trey Gowdy, a Fox News host and former congressman.

dskolnick@vindy.com

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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