Obama skipped GOP debate

Obama skipped GOP debate
© Getty Images
The White House did not think very highly of Thursday night’s Republican presidential primary debate. 
President Obama did not watch the debate, the first of nine sessions of the 2016 primary. Press secretary Josh Earnest did tune but said he fell asleep for part of it. 
“I was disappointed it started so late, so there was a point where I did doze off during the debate,” Earnest told reporters. 
“I woke up and thought I’d been transported back to 2012, when we saw a variety of Republicans making outlandish” claims about the country, he added. 
Thursday night’s debate in Cleveland included a number of provocative claims by GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE and an animated exchange between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill MORE (R-Ky.) over government surveillance. 
The president was not among what was a record-setting audience for a primary debate; 24 million people tuned into the contest on Fox News, making it the highest-rated cable newscast ever.