Hot off the Twitter press, CNN has scheduled yet another Republican ‘Presidential’ Town Hall, this time featuring none other than former Vice President Mike Pence. This public event will unfurl on Wednesday, June 7th at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.
CNN’s chief political correspondent and the event’s planned moderator, Dana Bash, proudly tweeted about the upcoming gig. Now, here’s where it gets a bit puzzling: This will be the third time in less than a month that CNN graciously gifts free air time to a Republican White House hopeful’s campaign. But wait, there’s a twist: Pence hasn’t officially thrown his hat into the presidential race yet.
Just last month, CNN spotlighted former President Trump at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, drawing significant backlash for its willingness to host a platform for Trump’s unproven theories and disputed claims about the 2020 election.
The network also disclosed its plans to give the spotlight to ex-US Ambassador to the UN and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Sunday, June 4th, in Iowa.
Following CNN’s announcement about the Pence town hall, a tidal wave of bewildered and sardonic responses swept over Twitter. Here’s a taste of what people had to say:
Edward Michael questioned the event’s nomenclature: “What does ‘Republican Presidential Town Hall’ mean? He’s not the president. He wasn’t the president. No Republican is the president. Is he running in the GOP primary to be the Republican nominee for president? Then maybe ‘Republican Presidential Candidate Town Hall’?”
Jeremy Barr echoed the sentiment, highlighting Pence’s undeclared candidacy.
Arieh Kovler asked, cheekily, if anyone could sign up for these town halls given that Pence hasn’t officially declared his candidacy: “Can I do one?”
Rick Wilson, Lincoln Project Founder, eagerly anticipated Pence’s attempts to dodge questions about Trump’s animosity towards him.
Several Twitter users, such as Julia Davis, Brian O’Sullivan, and Marlene Robertson, shared their far-from-flattering sentiments about spending time with Pence.
Justin Baragona pointed out the frequency of these GOP town halls on CNN and their proximity to each other.
Jeannette Webber questioned whether it will be a ‘real’ town hall or another supporter-stacked event with the candidate’s rules enforced, like the Trump CNN event.
Lastly, Art Martin suggested, humorously, that a reel showing paint drying might get better ratings.
One thing’s for certain: CNN’s town hall decisions are stirring up a whirlwind of criticism, skepticism, and a good dose of mockery.