On January 22, 2013, Gabbard was unanimously elected to a four-year term as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.  She was critical of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's decision to hold only six debates during the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries, compared with 26 in 2008 and 15 in 2004.  Along with Minneapolis mayor R. T. Rybak and two candidates, Gabbard called for more debates, appearing on multiple news outlets to express her dissatisfaction with the reduction in the number. Later she was either "disinvited" or asked to "consider not coming" to the Democratic debate in Las Vegas as a consequence. In a phone interview with the New York Times, Gabbard spoke of an unhealthy atmosphere and the feeling that she had "checked [her free speech] at the door" in taking the job.  Gabbard privately accused Wasserman Schultz of violating the DNC's duty of neutrality by favoring Hillary Clinton. This later became public in leaked emails published by WikiLeaks.