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President Passes on CNN GOP TV Debate

CNN says it drew a crowd of 3.162 million total viewers to the first Republican presidential debate from Manchester, N.H., Monday night, but President Barack Obama was apparently not one of them.

When asked by a reporter Tuesday whether the president had watched the prime time debate, Press Secretary Jay Carney said no, and ditto for the replay or any clips from it. "I've spoken to him this morning, and he did not see any of it," said Carney, adding "he never watched his own debates, so he's not spending a lot of time watching other debates."

He also said that the president was "otherwise occupied."

Elsewhere on the "politicians not watching TV" front, had the president been watching, he would have learned, among other things, that candidate Rick Santorum prefers NBC's Leno to Turner's Conan, though he admitted he actually watches neither. Newt Gingrich said he preferred American Idol over Dancing With the Stars, but did not say whether that was based on his actual viewing habits.

Both those were answers to "this or that" questions asked by moderator John King coming in and out of breaks.