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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) slammed the Republican presidential primary debate held by Fox Business Network and Univision in Simi Valley, California, on Wednesday night, saying crosstalk made it hard to follow.
“It’ll be interesting to go back and watch the tape, because somebody said, ‘Oh, here’s the time people got.’ Were they counting all the crosstalk? Was that half of it?” Burgum said in the spin room at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Burgum had complained that he did not have an opportunity to speak properly for the first 45 minutes of the debate, which frequently descended into a shouting match in which several candidates were talking at once.
Many critics on social media pronounced the debate “unwatchable,” after the anchors failed to control the candidates and asked questions that once would have been expected on a left-wing network, not on a Fox platform.
— Scott Jennings (@ScottJenningsKY) September 28, 2023
Speaking to reporters, Burgum said that the debate did a disservice to the democratic process.
“I mean, the people that lost tonight [were] the American voters, becasue if they don’t get a chance to actually understand who’s on the stage and what they stand for, I think that’s a big loss for the voters. Because the voters decide who’s going to move forward in this campaign, not televised clickbait debates,” he said.
Burgum impressed some debate-watchers with an interjection about the auto industry strike — but he had to fight to have a chance to speak.
From the official transcript:
BURGUM: I’m sorry. I have to jump in, because we’re missing the point. And every other network is missing the point.
The reason why people are striking in Detroit is because Joe Biden’s interference, with capital markets, and with free markets. The subsidies, we’re subsidizing the automakers, and we’re subsidizing the cars, and a particular kind of car, not every car. We’re particularly we’re subsidizing electric vehicles. And when you decide that we’re going to take all of your taxpayer monies, take a billion dollars, subsidize a certain type of vehicle, and the batteries come from China?
China controls 85 percent of the Rare Earth minerals. They’re called Rare Earth, because they’re measured in parts per million. China is moving 100,000 pounds of Earth, in Indonesia, in Africa. They’re literally destroying the planet, so that we can make a battery that’s in a car, subsidized here.
BURGUM: That’s why they’re striking, because they need two-thirds less workers to build an electric car. Joe Biden, this strike is at Joe Biden’s feet.
The third debate is tentatively scheduled for November, in Miami. It is unclear if the frontrunner, former president Donald Trump, will participate, after skipping the first two.