Presidential races

Webb: CNN ‘rigged’ Dem debate for Clinton, Sanders

Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) believes that CNN stacked the odds for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday.

“Online poll: Was the CNN #DemDebate rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton?” he tweeted Friday, referencing a Daily Caller sampling that shows 98 percent answering “yes.”

Webb’s post follows his insistence late Thursday that CNN moderator Anderson Cooper helped the network’s coverage skew toward Clinton and Sanders.

{mosads}“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 during an address at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

“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 others did,” the long-shot Democratic White House hopeful said.

“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,” Webb added.

Webb frequently criticized Cooper earlier this week for ignoring him during the contest in Las Vegas.

He admitted on Thursday that he even joked with Sanders about the situation while they were on the debate stage.

“I even turned around to Bernie Sanders at one point and said, ‘Bernie, say my name, will you? Say my name,’ Webb said.

“In that kind of environment, I was either going to be Mr. Angry or I was going to be a potted plant,” he quipped. “That was the only way to try to get into the conversation.”

Webb then said he was pleased with his performance.

“In the Drudge poll, I was a very strong second,” he said, citing The Drudge Report’s sampling. “I was 25 [percent], and I think Secretary Clinton was 7 or 8 [percent].”

“And in the Time poll we were [also] a strong second,” Webb added, referring to Time magazine. “I got 36 [percent] on it.”

Still, Webb is struggling for traction with voters despite a storied career in public service and the military.

The former Navy secretary and assistant Defense secretary is polling at less than 1 percent nationwide, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of samplings.

The Democratic National Committee has planned five more debates for the 2016 field. Its next event is on Nov. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tags 2016 Anderson Cooper Bernie Sanders campaigns CNN Council on Foreign Relations D.C. D.C. debates Democrats Des Moines Hillary Clinton Iowa Jim Webb Las Vegas Nevada Politics presidential races United States Vermont Virginia Washington Washington White House

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