NBC City Hall with Joe Biden didn’t receive the warmest reception on Monday night.
The televised outdoor event, which aired on both NBC and MSNBC, took place in Swing, Florida, and host Lester Holt told viewers that all those attending Miami were “undecided voters”.
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Holt opened City Hall by asking him to respond to President Trump’s departure from Walter Reed Medical Center and asking if he was “surprised” by Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. if he believed the President’s medical team was “ready” for information about his condition and whether he “trusted”
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Then the “undecided voters” could speak one-on-one with the former vice-president. Of the eleven or so voters who were able to ask questions, one was described as “inclined” to Biden, one as “registered Republican” who was also “inclined” to Biden, one as a former registered Republican who “voted for Hillary Clinton” and others voted for Clinton in 2016, but he too voted for Republicans “in the past,” according to Holt. None of the participants were described as Trump voters or “inclined” to vote for the incumbent president.
All of their questions centered primarily on Biden’s plans as president, rather than the tough questions that challenged the candidate on his 47-year track record.
Critics noted the not-so-stimulating exchange between Biden and the voters.
“NBC City Hall with Joe Biden and ‘undecided voters’ in Miami didn’t seem to have undecided voters. Nor was it a big Miami City Hall that had many more screaming and targeted questions. It was a television show that doubled in size I can’t blame him for it, “said Politico reporter Marc Caputo.
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“The town hall questions to Biden are pretty overwhelming so far,” tweeted McClatchy correspondent David Catanese.
“I’ve just seen the whole hour-long NBC News town hall with Joe Biden. No question about whether he’s going to grab the court, destroy the filibuster, or add DC and Puerto Rico as states,” said Greg Price of the Daily Caller, later adding: “There weren’t any questions about China either.”
Biden Town Hall was even knocked on by one of Biden’s own followers.
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“The media never learns. NBC just spent the first 12 minutes of @ JoeBiden’s Town Hall talking about Trump. Damn it,” responded Democratic activist Chris Jackson.
Others targeted Holt for asking Biden if he “regretted” the “divisive” rhetoric he voiced during the first presidential debate last week.
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“Lester Holt is trying to have the first presidential debate on both sides and criticizes Joe Biden for calling Trump a clown in this town hall. Insane,” tweeted progressive commentator Hasan Piker.
“Hey, Lester Holt … Donald Trump is a clown. Apparently you are, too,” wrote Bishop Talbert Swan.
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Last month, CNN was similarly criticized for its friendly town hall with Biden, who came just days after President Trump’s difficult question at an event hosted by ABC News.