CNN’s chaotic Trump ‘town hall’ broadcast draws 3.3 million viewers
CNN’s much-anticipated town hall with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump drew 3.3 million viewers on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen data. Hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, the town hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was intended to be a chance for Trump to connect with undecided voters and clarify his positions on key issues. However, the event was marred by contentious exchanges between Trump and Cooper, as well as by the candidate’s repeated interruptions of both Cooper and audience members.
Despite the chaotic nature of the broadcast, the event did provide Trump with a platform to address some of his critics’ concerns. He reiterated his position on a number of issues, including his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and his desire to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He also spoke at length about his proposed border wall with Mexico, saying that he would “absolutely” force the Mexican government to pay for it.
The town hall was broadcast live from the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee and was also streamed online. While it drew a sizable audience, it fell short of the numbers posted by the Democratic presidential candidates’ recent town halls. Senator Bernie Sanders’ event on CNN earlier this month drew 3.6 million viewers, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s town hall on MSNBC in February drew 3.3 million viewers.
Trump has been a controversial figure throughout the presidential campaign, and his appearance at the CNN town hall was no exception. Despite his frequently combative exchanges with Cooper and others, he remains the front-runner for the Republican nomination, with a significant lead in delegates over his rivals. As the campaign moves forward, it remains to be seen whether his sometimes controversial style will help him or hurt him with voters.