CNN hosted a town hall with President Joe Biden Thursday night in Baltimore, Maryland. The network was roasted on social media not only for holding the event in the heavily liberal city but only allowing invited guests to ask questions, the majority of which were Democrats.
The questions seemed designed to give Biden a chance to pump his policy plans, which he did when he could be wrangled to stay on topic. When asked about his plans for the federal government to foot the bill for community college tuition, he veered into early childhood education before the moderator brought him back. And for a while he just stood there with his fists clenched.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, moderating his second town hall with Biden where of the 12 participants who were able to ask questions, seven were identified as Democrats, three were identified as Independents and only two were identified as Republicans.
Kelsey Bolar, a senior policy analyst with the conservative Independent Women’s Forum tweeted, "A CNN invitation-only audience with pre-scripted questions is very different from facing the press, which Biden now hasn't done for 95 days."
CNN has a track record of Democrat slated events for Biden. At Cooper's first town hall with Biden in February, none of the 12 participants were Republicans. Two were identified as "independents" who voted for President Trump. Six were Democrats and four others were also independents.
At an event with Don Lemon in July, three Republicans got to ask Biden questions compared to eight Democrats, according to a count from NewsBusters.
Leading up to the 2020 presidential election, CNN held a town hall with then-candidate Biden featuring 16 participants, 13 of whom were identified as Democrats compared with only three Republicans.
When asked about how Americans could be encouraged to go back to work, he said what he's said before, which is that employers should pay them more, and that a reason there are so many openings is because workers can bargain. He didn't mention the seemingly endless extension of unemployment benefits as a reason so many Americans stayed out of the job force, or the vaccine mandates, which have cause first responders in many major cities to walk off the job rather than be vaccinated against an illness that they've already had and have antibodies for.
Biden falsely claimed during the event that just two million Americans had received a COVID vaccine when he came into office. The true number 16 million, eight times higher.
'When I first was elected, there were only two million people who had COVID shots in the United States of America. Now we got 190 million because I went out and bought everything I could do and buy in sight and it worked.”
Additionally, Biden also lied about the purchase of the vaccines. The Trump administration had purchased 300 million doses of COVID vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer in December, weeks before Biden's inauguration.
Biden, who seems to believe that the federal government should be involved in everything from child care to curriculum to preferred pronouns, thinks the tearing down of statues of America's founding fathers should be up to local jurisdiction.
During the event, Biden made the claim that Colin Powell, who passed away earlier in the week from the virus "…clearly would have been gone earlier had he not gotten the vaccine."
The President also mocked Americans he claimed are turning vaccine mandates into a political issue and said, "Freedom! I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID."
Biden also admitted during the town hall that he has no immediate plan or solution to alleviate spiking gas prices and suggested that Americans would not start seeing relief next year.
"My guess is, you’ll start to see gas prices come down as we get by and going into the winter – I mean, excuse me, into next year, 2022. I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices. I must tell you, I don’t have a near-term answer."
As for Fox News, Biden said that he found it "mildly fascinating" that the network requires employees to be vaccinated, though outspoken anchors on the network speak out against the mandates. It's as though he feels that a person who complies with an unjust policy doesn't have a right to speak out against that policy.
However, Fox doesn't mandate that employees get vaccinated, and has an option for testing.
It was Biden, of course, who issued the mandate that all employers with over 100 workers must force those workers to get vaccinated. Now he's mocking those who comply as well as those who don't.
CNN was pleased with its work praising the president.
This story was updated to reflect that Fox News does not have a vaccune mandate.