Biden, Don Lemon roasted for performances during CNN town hall: ‘Uncomfortable to watch’

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CNN’s heavily promoted town hall event with President Biden lit up social media for all the wrong reasons on Wednesday night as everything from crowd size to moderator Don Lemon’s performance was roasted. 

Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Epstein kicked things off by pointing out the tiny crowd. “CNN was very careful to not show that no one showed up for the Biden Town Hall and that most of the room was empty,” radio host Mark Simone noted. 

The Bongino Report declared the event was a “train wreck,” while Media Research Center president Brent Bozell called it “garbage.” 

National Review editor Jack Butler slammed the “contrived” CNN event that he feels is a far cry from the successful town hall events of the past. Saying the format should be abolished, he called it a “hideous spectacle unbecoming of a self-governing republic” that continues to get worse.

President Joe Biden participates in a widely mocked CNN Town Hall hosted by Don Lemon at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
(Saul Loeb/AFP)

“With the help of the mawkish sheen inculcated by the format, Biden largely skated through a kind of CliffsNotes of current events by invoking either his preferred cliché or talking point of the moment or a variety of emotional or ironic rhetorical devices as he saw fit,” Butler wrote.

“If CNN had any shame or respect for the citizens of a self-governing republic, the network would never air one of these idiotic events again,” Butler added. “But don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.”

NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck noted that eight Democrats were allowed to ask questions, while only three Republicans were given the opportunity. 

Grabien Media founder Tom Elliott sarcastically said Biden was “crushing it” when sharing a viral video of the president struggling to answer a question. Elliott’s clip has piled up over 2.2 million views and generated a plethora of criticism. Some viewers were irked that Lemon didn’t point out Biden’s struggles, while others just felt the entire ordeal was painful to watch. 

Lemon also referred to Biden as “the big guy” during the presidential town hall.

“You’ve been the big guy for six months now in the White House. Can you take us behind the scenes, something that was extraordinary or unusual that happened that stands out to you?” Lemon asked.

“The big guy” was notably used as a reference to Biden in a leaked email thread allegedly involving Joe’s son Hunter Biden making a deal with a Chinese energy firm. In 2020, Fox News confirmed the authenticity of an email dated May 13, 2017 that detailed a discussion for “remuneration packages” for people involved in a business deal. A section of the email contained a propriety split reading “10 held by H for the big guy?” which was later confirmed to reference Joe Biden.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. remarked on this connection as well, tweeting “Wow. Even Don Lemon knows Joe Biden is the “Big Guy”! #HuntersEmails.”

Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report. 

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