Anyone watching the first Democratic debate on Tuesday easily picked up on the fact that former Sen. Jim Webb was peeved over what he perceived was unequal treatment by the hosts. In other words, he felt he wasn’t getting the same amount of speaking time as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and believed his answers were unfairly cut off by Anderson Cooper.
While this may have been true, complaining about it every chance he did get to speak didn’t exactly come off well among viewers.
Now he’s saying that CNN and its moderators rigged the debate to favor Clinton and Sanders.
“I’m going to be very frank, it was rigged in terms of who was going to get the time on the floor by the way that Anderson Cooper was selecting people to supposedly respond to something someone else said,” he said on Thursday at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“I even turned around to Bernie Sanders at one point and said, Bernie, say my name, will you? Say my name. So you know, in that kind of an environment, you know, I was either going to be Mr. Angry or I was going to be a potted plant. That was the only way to try to get into the conversation.”
“It’s very difficult to win a debate when you don’t have the opportunity to speak the same amount of time on issues as the other two did,” he continued. “It’s a reality that the debate was being portrayed as a showdown between Mrs. Clinton and Bernie, but if you’re going to be invited to participate and people are going to judge whether you, quote, “won” or not, at least you should be able to have the kind of time that’s necessary to discuss the issues that you care about, that you’ve worked on.”
While Webb is polling ahead of Lincoln Chafee and Gov. Martin O’Malley, he is still a long ways away from catching up to Clinton, Sanders, and even Vice President Joe Biden, who’s not even officially in the race yet.