‘What’s Happening?’ — Technical Difficulties Strike Dem Debate Forcing Commercial Break

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NBC’s first 2020 Democratic debate Wednesday experienced technical difficulties that forced the network to cut to a commercial break.

As cameras turned to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for a question on gun activism, microphones picked up other conversations going on around the studio while she waited to answer. (RELATED: Julian Castro Claims That Men Can Have Babies During Democratic Debate)

“Everybody’s mics are on,” MSNBC host Chuck Todd cut in. “I think we have a — heard that, too. That’s okay. I think we had a little mic issue in the back. … Yeah, we have the audience’s audio. So the question is simply this—”

“Sorry,” interrupted another voice before the mics became clearer — but not for long.


“I apologize you guys didn’t get to hear this — the first part of the question. Obviously, we’re not far from Parkland, Florida. Gun activism has become a big part of high school life up there in Broward County,” Todd continue before the mic issues started up again. “Some of you are calling for a restoration of the assault weapons ban. But even if it’s put in place, there are still going to be perhaps hundreds of millions of guns still on the streets. Is there a role for the Federal Government to play in order to get these guns off the streets?”

“The mics are on,” someone can be heard saying before Warren was given a chance to respond.

“What’s happening?” moderator and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said when the mic issues became obvious again. (RELATED: Klobuchar On Free College Debate: I Get ‘Concerned About Paying For College For Rich Kids’)

“If someone in the control room could turn off the mics of our previous moderators, we could —” Todd started, receiving laughs from the audience.

Todd then announced a “quick break” to take care of the situation, and the network suddenly cut to commercials.

The first debate featured 10 candidates Wednesday. The candidates include Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan and Elizabeth Warren.

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