Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, an outsider trying to defeat political insiders to become the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nominee, said Thursday that his performance at the debate was hindered by mysterious technical issues.
“There were also a few times, FYI, where I just started talking, being like, ‘Hey, I want to add something there,’ and my mic was not on,” Yang said Thursday night after the debate, according to The Hill.
“And it’s this sort of thing where, it’s not like if you started talking, it takes over the [conversation]. It’s like I was talking, but nothing was happening. And it was like, ‘Oh f—.’ So that happened a bit too,” he said.
Yang also noted the issue in a tweet to his supporters.
Second, I feel bad for those who tuned in to see and support me that I didn’t get more airtime. Will do better (my mic being off unless called on didn’t help) and glad to have another opportunity in July (and afterwards)!
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) June 28, 2019
Yang had the least speaking time at Thursday night’s debate, according to The New York Times, a mere two minutes and 58 seconds. At the other extreme, front runner and former vice president Joe Biden had 13 minutes and 19 seconds of speaking time, followed by Sen. Kamala Harris of California at 12 minutes and 16 seconds.
The lack of speaking time and the technical issues Yang faced evoked talk on Twitter of a possible conspiracy.
Andrew Yang is claiming that his mic was TURNED OFF for parts of the debate. He had less than 3 MINUTES of airtime. If this is true, the DNC needs to be held accountable for their BIAS and push for candidates that America may not ACTUALLY want. This is INSANE. #YangGang #Yang2020
— Alayna Machel (@_AlaynaMachel_) June 28, 2019
Yang won’t satisfy the DNC. They’ve given him little attention. While I don’t agree with all his policy positions, I believe in fairness. The moderators are hard-line DEMs & there’s a question on whether Yang’s mic was shut-off at some point. This isn’t democracy. It’s a zoo.
— Marianne Kuzujanakis (@MarianneKuz) June 28, 2019
It’s very important for folks to know that the DNC goes out of its way to silence it’s biggest threat.
Please make sure you’re letting everyone know about Yang.
Last night’s mic kill is more proof of the impact he’s having.
— earthboy (@earthboy1976) June 28, 2019
Meanwhile, Vrindavan Gabbard, the sister of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, borrowed her sister’s Twitter account to suggest the media was also conspiring, as shown by its lop-sided treatment of candidates in Wednesday night’s debate. During that debate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts received five questions in the first half-hour of the debate, Fox News reported.
It’s clear who MSNBC wants to be president: Elizabeth Warren. They’re giving her more time than all the other candidates combined. They aren’t giving any time to Tulsi at all. -V (Tulsi’s sister)
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) June 27, 2019
The candidate herself appeared with Tucker Carlson of Fox News and was asked about her limited speaking time.
“It shows there is a clear bias in place,” Gabbard said. “I made the most of every minute that I had. I wish I had more time to address these important issues.”
Gabbard spoke for six and a half minutes Wednesday, according to Business Insider. Only two candidates had less time.
The 2020 campaign follows a 2016 campaign in which the Democratic National Committee was repeatedly accused of tilting the playing field to favor eventual nominee Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a claim buttressed when WikiLeaks posted thousands of emails from DNC officials, as reported by USA Today.
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