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 BookerBass 'hopeful' on passing police reform: 'Republicans that I am working with are operating in good faith' Progressive lawmakers press DHS chief on immigration detention Democrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico 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 WarrenWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Poll: 56 percent say wealth tax is part of solution to inequality Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents 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'RourkeO'Rourke clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid O'Rourke says he's not planning on run for Texas governor O'Rourke slams Cruz for video of border visit 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 ToddBoehner to NBC's Chuck Todd: 'You're a s---' for question about seeking office again Whitmer: State won't close down again following GOP lawsuits Boehner: 'America First Caucus is one of the nuttiest things I've ever seen' 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 InsleeDelaware state lawmakers consider bill to allow human composting The Hill's 12:30 Report: Nearly half of U.S. adults partially or fully vaccinated The Hill's 12:30 Report: CDC identifies 5.8K COVID cases of 66M vaccinated MORE (D) spoke less than any other candidate on stage, even though MSNBC host Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowOcasio-Cortez eyeing T over 10 years for infrastructure Tucker Carlson: Matt Gaetz sexual allegation interview 'one of weirdest' he's done MSNBC changes branding of live breaking news coverage to 'MSNBC Reports' 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 BlasioWhat the statistics show about police shootings and public safety US cities beef up security ahead of Chauvin verdict Yang expands lead in NYC mayor race: poll MORE (D), who frequently tried to shout over other candidates.

"There's nothing worse than not being heard," said Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanBusinessman Mike Gibbons jumps into GOP Senate race in Ohio Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms Trump faces test of power with early endorsements 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 DelaneyLobbying world Coronavirus 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 MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardNew co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials Tulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 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.