Booker, O'Rourke get most speaking time at first Democratic debate

Booker, O'Rourke get most speaking time at first Democratic debate
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Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker says he will ask Amy Coney Barrett if she will recuse herself from presidential election-related cases Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election The movement to reform animal agriculture has reached a tipping point MORE (D-N.J.) talked more than any other Democrat on the debate stage Wednesday night, catching his stride after the first half-hour was dominated by top-tier candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's tax bombshell | More election drama in Pennsylvania | Trump makes up ground in new polls New Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Democrats blast Trump after report reveals he avoided income taxes for 10 years: 'Disgusting' MORE (D-Mass.).

Booker spoke for a total of 10 minutes and 35 seconds during Wednesday's debate, edging out former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeJimmy Carter says his son smoked pot with Willie Nelson on White House roof O'Rourke endorses Kennedy for Senate: 'A champion for the values we're most proud of' 2020 Democrats do convention Zoom call MORE (D-Texas), who spoke for 10 minutes and 15 seconds.

Warren spoke for more than five minutes of the first half-hour of the debate, but she slowed down as the night went on. Those five minutes represented more than half her total talk time of 9 minutes and 7 seconds, according to The Hill's stopwatch.

No candidate got to speak as long as the 11 minutes and 13 seconds that NBC devoted to advertising, a period that may have grown unintentionally after a technical snafu forced NBC's Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddMurkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Republican senator says plans to confirm justice before election 'completely consistent with the precedent' Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response MORE to throw to an unplanned break about an hour into the debate.


During one of the longest segments of the debate, a more than 11-minute discussion about the intricacies of immigration policy, Booker and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro (D) spoke for a combined 5 1/2 minutes.

That segment of the debate kicked off with the longest answer of the evening, Castro's 88-second explanation of his plan to reform the nation's immigration system.

But Warren was silent during the immigration section, marking the moment when Booker pulled ahead in total screen time.

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeBarr asked prosecutors to explore charging Seattle mayor over protest zone: report Bottom line Oregon senator says Trump's blame on 'forest management' for wildfires is 'just a big and devastating lie' MORE (D) spoke less than any other candidate on stage, even though MSNBC host Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowGlenn Greenwald tells Megyn Kelly he has been 'formally banned' from MSNBC GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Schiff urges Trump administration members to resign: 'You cannot maintain your silence' MORE gave him the chance to weigh in on his signature issue, the threat climate change poses to the planet. Inslee spoke for only 4 minutes and 41 seconds, 40 seconds fewer than New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYC wedding with nearly 300 guests 'shut down' by police NYC principals call on state to take control of city's schools, vote 'no confidence' in de Blasio OVERNIGHT ENERGY: California seeks to sell only electric cars by 2035 | EPA threatens to close New York City office after Trump threats to 'anarchist' cities | House energy package sparks criticism from left and right MORE (D), who frequently tried to shout over other candidates.

"There's nothing worse than not being heard," said Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanNow's the time to make 'Social Emotional Learning' a national priority Mourners gather outside Supreme Court after passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lincoln Project hits Trump for criticizing Goodyear, 'an American company' MORE (D-Ohio) during his closing statement. Ryan spoke for 6 minutes and 54 seconds.

Inslee received just five questions during the debate, and he did not get the opportunity to follow-up to any other questions. De Blasio, Ryan, former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardRepublicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Gabbard says she 'was not invited to participate in any way' in Democratic convention MORE (D-Hawaii) also received only five questions, but each of those candidates had the chance to respond to follow-up questions from the NBC moderators.

Those moderators directed more questions at Booker, 10, than any other candidate. Booker was also given the opportunity for three 30-second follow-ups. Warren and O'Rourke each received eight questions, while Klobuchar received seven. Castro and O'Rourke, fellow Texans who sparred over immigration policy, received four follow-ups each.

De Blasio was the first candidate to launch an attack on the rest of the field, and the first candidate to try to cut off a fellow Democrat, O'Rourke.