CNN Trump Town Hall Proves That Donald Trump Is Still the One to Beat for 2024

As we related early out the gate, Trump is going nowhere. Thirty-four indictments, being found liable for sexual abuse and defamation against E. Jean Carroll, and all the weeping and gnashing of teeth from Never Trumpers, RINOs, Democrats, and the Left matters little, and cannot prevent the Trump Train from leaving the station.


CNN hosted Trump’s first town hall since he declared for 2024, and it is pretty well established that the train had already left and it was full steam ahead. As RedState reported, Trump set the tone and showed host Kaitlan Collins who was driving the conversation. It definitely was not her. White House correspondent Simon Ateba was underwhelmed.

Of course, Collins began with the 2020 election and January 6. Trump immediately batted down Collins’ contentions about his influence over the January 6 kerfuffle and the violence that ensued, then raised hackles when he called Capitol Police officer Michael Byrd, who shot veteran Ashli Babbitt, a “thug.”

The audience, made up of Republican and Independent voters, absolutely loved Trump—much to the chagrin of Collins. Trump received a standing ovation at his introduction, and his appeal only increased from there.


When Trump related (in semi-mocking fashion) E. Jean Carroll’s rape allegations against him, the crowd was animated and laughing at Trump’s funny delivery. If CNN was hoping Collins’ line of questioning would make Trump come off as unlikeable or misogynist, then they failed miserably. If there were any skeptics in that crowd, Trump had won them over at the end.

As my colleague Susie Moore related,

Critics will undoubtedly pick this apart, but watch the video and you’ll see — this was Trump playing to an audience, relating a story with comedic timing and gestures, which the audience in turn found comical. The camera pans to the audience at one point and they’re clearly laughing, some covering their mouths as if to acknowledge they know they really shouldn’t but can’t quite help themselves. And this is the thing about Trump that his most ardent detractors never quite seem to get. It is that Trump, and the Trump who refuses to be corralled and refuses to accept the premises of his inquisitors, who millions of people genuinely enjoy and appreciate — precisely because he will not dance to the tune of the corporate media drummers.

The exchange is quite hilarious.



A few other Trumpisms dropped during the 60-minute Town Hall:

When questioned on the debt ceiling:

The Country is being destroyed by stupid people, by very stupid people.

To another question, “If elected president again, what is the first thing you would do to help bring down the cost to make things more affordable?” Trump invoked Gov. Sarah Palin’s rallying cry:

Drill, baby, drill.

At the end of the questioning by Collins, Trump said to her,

You are a nasty person, I’ll tell you.

One of Trump’s finer moments was a full-throated and very well-received response to the question, “Will you pardon the January 6 rioters who were convicted of federal offenses?”

I am inclined to pardon many of them. I can’t say for every single one because a couple of them, probably they got out of control. But, you know, when you look at Antifa, what they’ve done to Portland. And if you look at Antifa, look at what they did to Minneapolis. And, so many other, so many other places. Look at what they did to Seattle. And BLM? BLM… many people were killed. These people—I’m not trying to justify anything. But you have two standards of justice in this country. And what they’ve done, and I love that question, because what they’ve done to so many people is nothing, nothing! And then what they’ve done to these people—they’ve persecuted these people!

And yeah, my answer is, I am mostly likely, if I get in, I will most likely, I would say it will be a large portion of them. You know, they did a very [applause by the audience] … and it will be very early on. They are living in hell right now. They’re living in hell. And they’re policemen, and their firemen, and their soldiers, and their carpenters, and electricians. And they’re great people, many of them are just great people.


Essentially, Trump did more for CNN than CNN did for Trump. As stated previously, these are probably the best ratings CNN has received since Trump left office in 2021. Fox News committing ratings suicide with their poor handling of l’affaire Tucker also helped that along.

A most telling portion of the night was the focus group post-Town Hall. The CNN correspondent running the group attempted to push his own narrative about Trump’s response to the questions about the 2020 Election, not realizing he was not dealing with low-information voters who were born yesterday.


Whether Florida Governor Ron DeSantis enters the 2024 race or not, this savvy move by Trump to be first out the gate with a one-on-one with a legacy media station with whom he has been combative has left its mark. Trump is still a formidable candidate and will be the one to beat for the Republican nomination and for the presidency.


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