Ahead of US presidential election, US Senator Kamala Harris and Hindu Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard late on Wednesday engaged in a war of words during a primary presidential debate.

Harris accused Gabbard of criticising former US president Barack Obama during his administration, while Gabbard slammed her for “continuing to traffic in lies”.

Gabbard, who stood by her criticism, said that the Democratic Party continues to be influenced by the foreign policy established by Clinton, who served as secretary of State under President Obama.

“It is unfortunate that we have someone on the stage who 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,” Kamala Harris said, attacking Tulsi Gabbard.

In another discussion, Gabbard fired back at Harris, saying that what she is doing is “unfortunately continuing to traffic in lies and smears and innuendos” as she is not able to challenge her argument of “the leadership and the change that I am seeking to bring in our foreign policy”.

The Hawaii Senator said as president, Harris would continue “the status quo, continue the Bush, Clinton foreign policy of regime change wars”. This is deeply destructive, she said.

Gabbard further said that she wants to make the Democratic Party a party that actually hears the voices of Americans, who are struggling across the country, and put it in the hands of veterans and fellow citizens who are calling for an end to this ongoing Bush-Clinton-Trump foreign policy doctrine of regime change wars and overthrowing dictators in other countries.

In October, Gabbard had lashed out at former US Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton and called her “queen of warmongers” after Clinton alleged that the Democratic election hopeful was being “groomed” by the Russians as the third-party candidate for the 2020 presidential elections.

In response to Clinton, Gabbard took to Twitter, saying “Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain”.

Gabbard is one of the more-than-dozen Democratic leaders who have thrown their hats in the party’s 2020 primary race.

The two Democratic presidential aspirants, both of whom have a huge support base among Indian-Americans across the country.

(With PTI inputs)