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Yes, he really said it — Donald Trump thought there was too much Trump in the the second GOP debate Wednesday night.
Calling into Morning Joe on MSNBC Thursday morning, Trump said he even felt bad for the other candidates — referring to some as “friends” — because the primary focus of the debate was on the former Apprentice host.
“Every question had to do with me, even the first characters; I mean everything was about Trump,” the billionaire business mogul said. “It was a little bit unfair to a lot of other people, frankly.”
Trump said he was treated “fairly” by CNN and moderator Jake Tapper, a far cry from the first debate on Fox News which he blasted immediately afterward for being unfair and for the hosts being unprofessional.
Still, Trump did have an issue with the CNN format, complaining the event went on too long.
“It’s a long time to be debating, but I think it’s even worse for the people who have to sit home,” he said. “If this were a two-hour debate, it would have been a great debate. Three hours is really unacceptable.”
Trump even joked that the debate lasted almost as long as the classic film Gone with the Wind.
When speaking about the performances of the other candidates, Trump said he felt that no one did “poorly” and even said he was impressed by a few of those also vying for the Republican nomination, mentioning businesswoman Carly Fiorina, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio specifically.
“I really think that everybody did at least pretty well,” he said.
Still, it wasn’t all niceties; Trump had to put one of the candidates in his place early, he said.
“Rand Paul came out shooting,” Trump said. “You know, I’m sitting there and all of a sudden I get shot at by Rand Paul. I said, ‘you’re not supposed to be up here, you have 1% [of the vote] and we have 11 people up here’ … and after that he behaved very nicely, which actually I was surprised at.”
CNN reported Thursday that the debate was the most watched program in the history of the network with 22.9 million tuning in to see. In a mid-morning tweet, Trump wondered if he would get a token of appreciation from the network for the ratings boost.
Just announced that in the history of @CNN, last night’s debate was its highest rated ever. Will they send me flowers & a thank you note?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2015
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