Two of the lesser-known candidates in the 2020 primary field, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Rep. John Delaney (D-Maryland) attempted to draw attention to themselves during Wednesday’s debate by interrupting other candidates.

During the first night of the first round of the Democratic primary debates, de Blasio repeatedly interrupted other candidates in order to bring up a point and put himself into the spotlight. When former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) was speaking about healthcare, de Blasio interrupted him to state that “private insurance is not working for tens of millions of Americans.” He later interrupted O’Rourke again to bring up the War Powers Act, a 1973 bill that checked the president’s ability to go to war without the consent of Congress. The bill, which was intended to prevent another Vietnam-like war, was brought up by de Blasio during O’Rourke’s discussion of American foreign policy and its role in the Middle East.

Delaney employed a similar strategy after it became clear that the moderators did not favor him and would not be granting him much talking time. The former Maryland representative attempted to interject frequently, attempting to get the moderator’s attention in order to respond to whoever had spoken before him.

De Blasio and Delaney were two of the lowest rated candidates before the debates, and so it stood to reason that they would attempt to put themselves as much in the spotlight as possible in order to gain publicity. Their hopes that the debates would provide an opportunity to gain name recognition were slightly dashed, as the moderators seemed to favor the bigger candidates from the start. More well-known candidates, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren(D-Massachusetts) and O’Rourke were placed in the center of the stage, given more questions, and were allowed more responses than de Blasio and Delaney. .


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