Gabbard says she’s open to meeting with NRA leader LaPierre

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Tulsi Gabbard

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, listens to a question during a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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RAYMOND, N.H. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard was asked during a campaign appearance whether she would meet with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre like she did Syrian President Bashar Assad. She says she’s open to the idea.

The question came from a lifetime NRA member in New Hampshire on Wednesday as many of her 2020 rivals convened in Las Vegas for a forum on gun policy.

Gabbard replied, “Just as with our foreign policy, we have to be willing to meet with leaders and whoever they may be, adversaries or dictators or otherwise, because the only alternative to diplomacy is war.”

The Hawaii congresswoman has been criticized for her 2017 meeting in Syria with Assad, whose government has been accused of chemical weapons attacks against its own citizens.

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