By John Wagner / The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez expressed some concern Thursday about discrepancies in the amount of time candidates spoke during the first night of the Democratic presidential debate in Miami.
Of the 10 candidates onstage Wednesday night, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey walked away with the most airtime, a cumulative 10.9 minutes, according to a Washington Post tally. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee spoke the least, clocking in at five minutes.
“We always strive to make sure everybody gets roughly equal amounts,” Perez said during an interview on CNN, noting that he had seen data on speaking time after the debate. “We’re going to process that and have a conversation.”
Perez also said that he understood the challenges of moderating a debate with multiple candidates eager to jump in and make points.
The second night of the debate, hosted by NBC News, takes place Thursday.
Among the candidates who appeared Wednesday, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke got the second-most airtime, with 10.3 minutes.
He was followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 9.3 minutes, former Obama Cabinet member Julián Castro with 8.8 minutes, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota with 8.5 minutes, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio with 7.7 minutes, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii with 6.6 minutes, former Maryland congressman John Delaney with 6.6 minutes and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio with 5.6 minutes.
During a separate interview on CNN on Thursday, Inslee said “things could have been a little more equitable” regarding speaking time.
He said he was more concerned about the limited time devoted to climate change, his top issue, during the debate.