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A cocky Senate candidate running against incumbent Maine Sen. Susan Collins upended an entire debate Friday night by pulling a move so brazen then even President Donald Trump would likely be appalled (or at the least thoroughly amused).
But in Independent candidate Max Linn’s defense, at least he tried to warn everybody in advance of the crazy stunt he had planned for them …
During his opening remarks at the debate Friday, he made it a point to highlight all the money that Collins and her top opponent, Democrat challenger Sara Gideon, have raised, and claimed that because of their corporate backing, he has to stand out.
“Two of my opponents, Sarah and Susan, have raised upwards of $100 million in dark money from Washington, D.C., to try to buy your vote. That’s what I’m competing against — $100 million,” he said.
“So I know that in order to win your vote and win here tonight, I’ve got to be way outside the box. I have to be that something different. So I want to share with our moderators and our viewers, a lot of times when our moderators ask me a question, I might put that question aside, because I know that I have to slay these giants, and it’s not going to be easy.”
He wasn’t kidding.
After being asked his first real debate question about healthcare only minutes later, Linn chose to dismiss the question and start ranting and raving again about how he needs to stick out from the crowd because of his competitors’ money.
“That’s an excellent question, but as I mentioned I’ve got to be way outside the box tonight. I have to be different because I’m competing against a $100 million, and so I’m going to put your question aside, and I have a bombshell to announce tonight,” he said.
What could the “bombshell” possibly be? Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself? Joe Biden isn’t actually physically alive? Santa Claus is real? Sadly, the public may never know, because before he could continue, one of the moderators cut him off.
“I would ask that you stick with the question,” the moderator said.
This prompted Linn into saying, “Well, uh, request denied.”
“What I’d like to say is the eyes and ears and the voices of the people … we represent nature in the wilderness, and that brings me to the CMP corridor,” he added.
The CMP Corridor is a proposed direct current transmission line through Western Maine that’s being opposed by environmental activists.
Before he could continue his out-of-the-blue spiel about the corridor (and “nature in the wilderness”???), another moderator interrupted him to ask, “Do you have any interest in health care — that’s the thing we’re talking about. Let’s talk about that, and we can talk about other things later?”
This prompted Linn into saying, “Request denied again.”
Watch the amusing back-and-forth below:
“I appreciate that, and these moderators are such great moderators, and I apologize because I know you’re all doing your job as best as possible, but please realize, well I haven’t started my time, I’m addressing this, and you’re already flashing me,” he continued.
“Well that was the time allotted, and that’s how it was used,” one of the moderators noted.
But like before, again Linn began ranting about his competitors’ money.
“Well then, let me ask for clarity. I’m competing against a $100 million here, OK. They’re the front-runners. In order for me to be the U.S. Senate candidate, I have to be out of the box tonight, and I’ve got to be different,” he said.
To be clear, what he said isn’t true. It’s possible to win a debate against tough opponents without acting like an insane maniac. It’s even possible to put bad moderators in check if they’re not doing their jobs correctly.
In this case, however, the moderators appeared to be doing just fine.
“We need to know where you stand on the issues as well,” one of the moderators tried to point out in response to Linn’s spiel.
But the message didn’t resonate.
“As the moderator I want the question, but I don’t want to be judged on my answer because the only people judging my answer are the Maine voters on Nov. 3rd,” the zany candidate continued undeterred.
FYI, that’s not how debates work …
“Max, now you’re taking my time!” Gideon then interjected.
That too didn’t resonate.
“Well, I request that you don’t interrupt me because I’m already fighting against $100 million, and I don’t want to fight the moderators all night, and part of my strategy is be outside the box,” Linn said as fed-up moderators finally moved on from him.
Well, he definitely left his mark. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good mark, according to an outpouring of criticism on social media, and well, it seems very likely now that his request to be a senator is going to wind up being DENIED.
Max Linn: Can I be Senator?
Maine: Request denied
— 𝕁𝕖𝕣𝕣𝕪 (@thereallj915) September 12, 2020
Max: vote for me
— Sonny D 🇺🇸 (@SonnyDel) September 12, 2020
Max Linn: Vote for me!
Everyone: Request Denied!
— Veteran of the War on Lexus’ December to Remember (@tractive_golfer) September 12, 2020
“I don’t want to be judged by my answers.”
— Joe Sweeney (@ojayweeneysay) September 12, 2020
But at least he succeeded at being outside the box … so much so that it was as if he was outside the solar system as well.
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