Former President Donald Trump took the stage at a CNN town hall, where he was met with cheers and laughter from the Republican crowd. Some of the 2024 GOP presidential candidates criticized him, but the more prominent contenders remained silent, with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley declining to comment.
GOP Presidential Longshots Rip Trump After Town Hall — But Bigger Names Stay Silent via @DailyCaller https://t.co/IYCZUdNz2u
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) May 11, 2023
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that Trump had a weak performance and was stuck in the past. Hutchinson launched his presidential campaign in April but polled near the bottom of the pack, with roughly 1%. Hutchinson slammed Trump for his lack of support for Ukraine in their battle with Russia and criticized his handling of the jury’s verdict in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case.
Be honest. When was the last time you spent a full hour watching @CNN? Thought so…#TrumpTownHall
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) May 11, 2023
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is expected to jump into the presidential race, slammed Trump’s town hall performance as “nonsense” and called him “Putin’s puppet.” Conservative radio personality Larry Elder found Trump’s town hall “entertaining” and attacked the Democrats on several topics.
Meanwhile, conservative businessman and presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy believes that “more debate and more free speech are good for the country.” Erin Perinne, communications director for Never Back Down, the political action committee tasked with drafting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president, criticized Trump for attacking DeSantis and lying about finishing the border wall.
In conclusion, while some GOP candidates criticized Trump’s CNN town hall performance, others remained silent or found it entertaining. This divide highlights the ongoing struggle within the Republican party as they try to navigate their relationship with the former president.