Juvenile Complaints About The Debate Time Clock

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The ceaseless, and entirely predictable, conservative whining about Tuesday's debate is now becoming insufferable. From the angry and misleading  attacks on moderator Candy Crowley, to the creepy hit pieces on voters who dared asked questions at the debate, the pervasive culture of victimization triumphing over responsibility has been on display for everyone to see.

Rather than address the substance of the debate and provide helpful analysis for why voters thought Barack Obama bested Mitt Romney at Hofstra University, the right-wing press has been lashing out at any and every possible foe. And among the more juvenile complaints has been the objection that over the three debates so far, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were given more time to speak than Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Katrina Trinko at National Review Online did the deep investigative digging and reported Republicans had been shortchanged in all three debates. "If you want more time to get your message out in debates, it's good to be a Democrat," Trinko wrote. 

This grievance makes no sense.

Trinko reported that on Tuesday "Obama spoke for 4 minutes and 18 seconds longer than Romney." And the first debate? "Obama spoke for 3 minutes, 14 seconds more than Romney."

Okay, so in the first and second debates Romney spoke for three or four minutes less than Obama. And what happened at the first debate? Romney, by every measurable standard, won the debate, and he won it in convincing fashion. So obviously, talking for three minutes less than Obama in the first debate didn't hurt Romney because virtually every pundit in America crowned him the winner.

But on Tuesday, when he again spoke slightly less often than Obama, Romney was deemed to be the debate loser. But only now is the debate clock suddenly of interest to conservatives? Romney spoke less in the first debate and won it. But when he spoke less at the second debate and lost, now it's a liberal media conspiracy the keep him quiet?

Please.

Also, note that Tuesday night Romney on at last one occasion broke the debate's format rules and directly asked Obama a question. When Romney did that he essentially ceded some of his time so Obama could respond [emphasis added]:

OBAMA: Governor Romney, here's what we did. There were a whole bunch of oil companies.

ROMNEY: No, no, I had a question and the question was how much did you cut them by?

OBAMA:  You want me to answer a question --

ROMNEY: How much did you cut them by?

OBAMA:: I'm happy to answer the question.

ROMNEY: All right. And it is --

OBAMA: Here's what happened. You had a whole bunch of oil companies who had leases on public lands that they weren't using. So what we said was you can't just sit on this for 10, 20, 30 years, decide when you want to drill, when you want to produce, when it's most profitable for you. These are public lands. So if you want to drill on public lands, you use it or you lose it.

And lastly, here's the shocking National Review Online revelation about the time split for the 90 minute vice presidential debate.

During the vice presidential debate, the gap wasn't as wide: Biden spoke for 1 minute, 22 seconds more than Ryan. Still, that gave Biden 3 percent more speaking time than Ryan.

Seriously, just grow up.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, National Review Online
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