HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appears to have “called out” U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono over her questioning of a judicial nominee, accusing her and others of religious bigotry.
Conservative media groups have been covering Sen. Hirono’s questioning of judicial nominee Brian Buescher for several weeks.
In a stunning op-ed published on Tuesday, Congresswoman Gabbard said while she opposes Buescher nomination, she stands strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry.
Hawaii News Now political analyst Colin Moore said this type of division in Hawaii’s delegation is extremely rare.
"Congresswoman Gabbard goes so far as to call this a form of religious bigotry, which I think is really shocking. Although she doesn't mention Senator Hirono by name, she's certainly talking about her line of questioning," said Moore. “I think this is quite a shocking break in the delegation.”
Sen. Hirono’s spokesperson issued a statement saying:
Dr. Kioni Dudley, a member of the Knights of Columbus, said although they participate in things like the March for Life, they are knights with all kinds of different personal views and there are knights in elected office.
“President Kennedy was a Knight of Columbus; Vice President Biden is a Good Catholic. So, you’ve got all kinds of people who have been in the office, in high office, who have done what they think is best for the people no matter what their church says they should do,” Dr. Dudley said.
Another member of the knights is Rep. Gabbard’s father, state Sen. Mike Gabbard, who did not respond to Hawaii News Now’s request for comment.
Moore said the congresswoman seems to be preparing herself for a presidential run and may be trying to assert her independence.
“Of course politicians don’t always like each other, they disagree with each other in private, but it’s pretty hard to take those words back once it’s been in the public view,” Moore said. “So, it could be very, very difficult I think for Senator Hirono and Congresswoman Gabbard to repair their relationship after that and that makes the delegation weaker. They have to work together, and they have to show a united front.”
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Gabbard sent Hawaii News Now the following statement: