- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg downplayed Tuesday night’s primary debate that he didn’t attend, saying his rivals’ performances may have made for “good theater” but won’t be changing any hearts and minds anytime soon.

“Best debate in 2020,” the former New York City mayor joked on ABC’s “The View” Wednesday.

“I didn’t learn anything — he said, she said — I suppose it’s good theater, but it didn’t address the issues of the country and what they would do,” he continued. “They’re not really debates. They’re pre-canned soundbites. Everybody wants to say something that doesn’t get them in trouble or does start a controversy that’s been pre-scripted and they think is good.”

Mr. Bloomberg suggested reformatting the debates so that “somebody picks a subject and you have to talk about that subject.”

“That to me would make more sense than just free-wheeling, because you go from subject to subject to subject and you never get two sides,” he said.

Mr. Bloomberg, whose self-funded campaign did not meet the Democratic National Committee’s donor threshold to qualify for the debate, expressed that he would have participated if he could.

“It’s harder to get the message out if you’re not in the debates,” he said. “It gives you a lot of television exposure.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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