Conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt said Friday he is happy with his participation in Wednesday night's GOP debate, even though he did not have much on-air time.
"I think the audience speaks for itself," Hewitt told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "Twenty-three million people [watched] for three hours, and I got the questions that were most important to me."
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He said he was able to ask about Syria, the burden of the Bush name, and national security.
"With 11 people on the stage, we went through the rundown for a couple of days," he told the morning show. "I'm very comfortable with the fact that you need a quarterback. I was a wide receiver, so was Dana [Bash], the ball came to us a few times, but I've told all my listeners and followers on Twitter, don't be upset."
The accomplishment, he continued, was to get the candidates talking to each other "because debates are about voters watching the candidates, and not the hosts and panelists."
He said it was "unfortunate" that Donald Trump spoke for 19 minutes, while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker only got nine minutes at the mic, but still, there were "fortunate" moments, such as the "longest sustained conversation about Iran and the Syrian hell hole that exists there."
Hewitt said that now, the field will need to compress, and he agrees that Walker started the debate strong.
"Keep an eye on him because he's playing a very long game in Iowa," Hewitt said. "Midwestern nice works there."
He also commented on Carly Fiorina's strong performance, saying that she's a "force of nature" who is a "bit rather like [late British Prime Minister] Margaret Thatcher."
Now, said Hewitt, Fiorina will need to turn her debate buzz into better poll numbers, and the next few weeks will be critical for her.
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