Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and host Joe Scarborough complained that that CNN kept him “locked in the plane” most of the night.
Scarborough began, “We got to talk to you, Hugh. Willie Geist and I have a real issue with CNN. And the issue is that they kept you locked in the plane for most of the night and they gave you two questions.” He went on, “We do have problems with the format and we’re wondering why you weren’t allowed to speak more and why the type of policy that you always ask weren’t not front and center of that debate?”
But Hewitt pointed out that he wasn’t intended to be the star of the debate, and that moderator Jake Tapper was. “I’m pushing back because I thought the audience speaks for itself. 23 million people for three hours and I got the questions that were most important to me. I got to ask about Syria. I got to ask about the burden of the Bush name. I got to bring up the national security stuff I wanted to, but I’ll tell you this, with 11 people on the stage, we went through the rundown for a couple of days. I’m very comfortable with the fact that you need a quarterback. I was a wide receiver, so was Dana, the ball came to us a few times, but I’ve told all my listeners and all my followers on Twitter don’t be upset.”
Scarborough’s co-host, Mika Brzezinski, dissatisfied, muttered, “I guess you’re probably uncomfortable being honest about this.”
Hewitt pushed back on that: “No, no: I’m very honest about it. I sat in that green room for two weeks–two days–and went over all those question sets. And they kept coming back to me and I said I would move me up in the A block and I took one question per block as did Dana [Bash]. But when you’ve got 11 people, it’s a football field. You never see the guard or the tackle. You gotta make sure that the 11 candidates get as much time and by the way if the panelists had talked more, those numbers for the candidates that you’re bewailing would be even smaller.”