Unstoppable Trump? Critics Lament His Dominance at CNN’s Town Hall

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Former President Donald Trump had an excellent night on Wednesday after participating in a town hall event with CNN. Trump did exactly what he needed to do: Remind his supporters why they voted for him in the first place.

He deftly fended off the leftist talking points parroted by host Kaitlan Collins while getting in more than a few jabs of his own. The audience seemed to eat up his every word.

Predictably, CNN is taking major flak for daring to platform a presidential candidate who is the frontrunner for his party’s nomination. Indeed, even before the event took place, folks on the left pilloried the network for allowing the Orange Man What Is Bad™ to grace their airwaves.

Critics accused CNN of providing Trump with a platform to spread election disinformation and defend the events of January 6th. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized CNN for losing control of the town hall, claiming that the audience cheered and laughed at Trump’s remarks, including an attack on a sexual abuse victim.

Neocon pundit Meghan McCain labeled the event a “Trump infomercial,” while journalists from outlets like the Daily Beast and Yahoo News expressed disappointment in what they viewed as irresponsible journalism and a lack of critical questioning from CNN.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, always one for Twitter theatrics, posted a tweet taking the network to task for setting up “a sexual assault victim to be targeted and attacked on national television” the day after the verdict was issued in the sexual assault civil lawsuit against the former president.

CNN’s Jake Tapper, during a conversation with Anderson Cooper, threw a tantrum about Trump’s comments during the town hall. Mr. Trump’s first lie was told just seconds into the night with his false familiar claim that the 2020 election was, quote, a rigged election,” he whined.

Tapper continued his diatribe:

And the falsehoods kept coming fast and furious, about the January 6 insurrection, about the threat to Vice President Pence, about Pence’s ability to overturn the election, about COVID, about the economy, and more. He called a black law enforcement officer a thug.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough also bloviated his disdain for the town hall. “What I saw last night was as chilling as anything I’ve seen on television since January the 6th,” he said.

Nevertheless, the night went so well for Trump that even left-wing activist Shaun King, AKA Martin Luther Cream, had to acknowledge that he performed exceedingly well. “Donald Trump has crushed this town hall for his base,” he tweeted. “The audience LOVES him & loves his answers.”

There is a reason why Democrats did not want CNN to platform Trump even though it is their job as an alleged news outlet. He clearly knocked it out of the park. His appearance has bolstered his standing as a formidable contender for the 2024 presidential election. Despite the criticisms and allegations of CNN providing a platform for supposed election disinformation, Trump’s confident demeanor and ability to captivate the audience with his unapologetic and controversial remarks have only solidified his appeal among his supporters.

His self-assuredness and the enthusiastic response from the audience have reinforced his image as a charismatic and influential figure, resonating with those who view him as a strong leader who speaks his mind without hesitation. To put it simply, this was the Trump the conservative base knows and loves.

Trump’s performance during the town hall showcased his ability to control the narrative and dictate the course of the discussion, regardless of the intentions or expectations of the network. No matter how hard she tried, Collins could not contain the former president or make him flustered. He was prepared for this town hall, which was more like a debate than a venue for understanding his positions on the issues.

The former president excels in this setting: a hostile network with a host who clearly has an agenda. His skill in steering the conversation toward his favored topics and eliciting laughs for his comments demonstrated a level of political prowess that cannot be underestimated. This dominance and the positive reception he received from his base have undoubtedly fueled concerns among left-leaning individuals who recognize the potential threat he poses in the upcoming presidential election.

Trump’s ability to command attention, his unwavering support base, and his knack for captivating audiences only serve to enhance his political strength, leading to apprehension among those who hope to see an alternative candidate succeed in 2024. His performance during the town hall will only increase his frontrunner status, which was already considerable going into the event. The question is, can he carry this momentum to victory in the general election?


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