Joe Biden mocked over half-empty CNN town hall: 'A student body council pulls more people'
Thanks to flattering shots taken by news outlets, TV viewers were not shown the empty rows in an effort to show a full crowd packing the front
President Joe Biden was heavily mocked on social media after he spoke to a half-empty auditorium Wednesday during a live CNN town hall event in Ohio. Thanks to the flattering shots taken by news outlets covering the event, television viewers were not shown the many empty rows in an effort to show a full, non-distanced crowd packing the front. The broadcast came as a prominent display of normalcy after more than a year of lockdowns and quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, several members of the traveling White House press corps took to social media to share photos from the back of the room, shockingly revealing that the venue was far from packed at Mount St Joseph University in Cincinnati, where the town hall took place.
One of the first to share photos online was Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Epstein, who traveled with the president as a representative of wire services. She tweeted an image of “[w]hat the Biden CNN town hall looks like from the back of the auditorium."
What the Biden CNN town hall looks like from the back of the auditorium: pic.twitter.com/juUehd7PDu— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) July 22, 2021
Meanwhile, Voice of America reporter Steve Herman, who was the radio pool reporter for the trip, shared a similar image noting how the “[b]ack of the auditorium is empty.” Herman also shared footage showing other angles where spectators were largely missing from seats.
As reported by the New York Post, the sight of rows of empty seats did not align with "Biden’s attempt to project confidence in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic," despite his assertion, "this is not a pandemic."
When asked whether the room was half full due to coronavirus concerns or a lack of public interest, a White House official directed the question to CNN. “This was a typical audience size for a CNN town hall," CNN spokeswoman Lauren Pratapas told The Post, although she did not elaborate on the reason for the humbling crowd size.
It's worth noting that former President Donald Trump has consistently mocked Biden for drawing small audiences, even before the pandemic broke out. The 45th POTUS is known for drawing tens of thousands of fired-up fans to his own rallies. “Biden comes to Florida, you have like 12, 13 people. You know, they do the circles. And he has a hard time filling up the circles. Here we probably have 30,000 people or so,” Trump told his supporters in Jacksonville, Florida during a September rally.
Similarly, Biden critics flooded social media with memes and jokes poking fun at the CNN town hall attendance, with some mocking the results of the 2020 election. "CNN invited their entire audience to attend tonight's #BidenTownHall -- and they still couldn't fill the auditorium," columnist Todd Starnes wrote. "Well, dead people can vote, but it's difficult to get them to attend a town hall," one Twitter user quipped. "Yes, the President who got more votes than any other candidate in history makes perfect sense," another added.
"Reminds me of attendance at his campaign speeches, except they’re not sitting in circles," a third chimed in. "Because nobody wants to listen to President Tapioca Brain stumble and stutter through answers he doesn’t have note cards for? Shocking. Actually, he probably does have note cards or a teleprompter set up by his handlers," a fourth wrote.
"A Student body council at some random high school pulls more people," another commented.
Well, dead people can vote, but its difficult to get them to attend a town hall.— Stevieben (@Stevieben3) July 22, 2021
Yes the President who got more votes than any other candidate in history 🤔 makes perfect sense— Brian Millenbruck (@BMillenbruck) July 22, 2021
Reminds me of attendance at his campaign speeches, except they’re not sitting in circles.— Rod Wistrand (@RodWistrand) July 22, 2021
Because nobody wants to listen to President Tapioca Brain stumble and stutter through answers he doesn’t have note cards for? Shocking. Actually, he probably does have note cards or a teleprompter set up by his handlers.— Ben Keup (@inside_edges11) July 22, 2021