Administration

Obama skipped GOP debate

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The White House did not think very highly of Thursday night’s Republican presidential primary debate. 
 
{mosads}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 Trump and an animated exchange between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Sen. Rand Paul (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. 
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