Yang claims microphone was 'off unless called on' during debate; NBC says he's wrongJune 28, 2019
By Caroline Kelly | CNN
Democratic presidential candidates, from left to right, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden,
Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand
(CNN) — Democratic presidential candidate and entrepreneur Andrew Yang claimed on Friday that his microphone during the Democratic debate Thursday was turned off at times.
"I feel bad for those who tuned in to see and support me that I didn't get more airtime," he tweeted Friday. "Will do better (my mic being off unless called on didn't help) and glad to have another opportunity in July (and afterwards)!"
NBC News, which hosted the debate, denied that Yang's or any candidate's microphone was shut off.
"At no point during the debate was any candidate's microphone turned off or muted," an NBC News spokesman told CNN in a statement.
Yang spoke for the least amount of time of any candidate during the debate on Thursday, clocking in with 2:56 seconds of talking on stage.
Yang made similar comments on Thursday, as seen in a video of his post-debate event taken by a supporter.
"There were also a few times, FYI, where I just started talking, being like, 'Hey I'd like to add something there,' and my mic was like, not on," he said, adding that "I was talking and like, nothing was happening."
He claimed that he experienced microphone issues "at least a few times," including during discussions on climate change and education when the problem was not addressed by moderators.
"There were times where I was like, hey, I wanted to make a contribution on climate change or education or other things and like, my mic didn't work, like the mic's actually not on," he said.
"And so I would just start talking and then like the moderators would just like ignore, and it doesn't matter," he said. "So the moderators have a fair amount of power and authority, including someone in production (who) is like turning on a mic or not."
Yang said that "there were at least a few times where I tried" to contribute to discussions during the debate "where I quite literally felt somewhat like, sort of mechanically restricted."
While he anticipated support from his famously engaged followers, Yang dismissed the alleged microphone issues as "not the worst thing in the world."
"Though I don't hate the entire media marginalization of Andrew Yang narrative that will now take hold, it's not the worst thing in the world to happen to us," he said.