Trump Attends First TV Town Hall of 2020 Election

Headline Roundup March 8th, 2020

President Donald Trump appeared on his first TV town hall of the 2020 election cycle on Thursday, when he fielded questions from Fox News anchors in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Topics of discussion ranged from the administration's response to the coronavirus to entitlement spending on programs like Medicare and Social Security, which the Republican suggested he might cut in order to reign in the national debt.

Coverage of the town hall diverged along party lines, with several outlets on the left focusing on factual inaccuracies in Trump's responses and some outlets on the right noting the program's record-breaking viewership, which reached 4.2 million people.

From the Right
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Fox News' town hall with President Trump, co-moderated by anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, dominated the 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET time slot on Thursday for both total viewership and the 25-54 age demographic.

Fox News had 4.2 million total viewers and 744,000 in the 25-54 age demographic for Trump's first town hall with the network since the 2016 presidential election. In contrast, MSNBC had 1.4 million total viewers and 239,000 in the 25-54 age demographic during the same time. CNN came in last, with 1 million total viewers and 251,000...

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From the Left
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President Donald Trump pitched a bottom-line reelection campaign message on Thursday night: He was dealt some bad cards and needed more time to get things fixed.

Speaking at his first town hall of 2020, a Fox News event in Scranton, Pa., Trump contrasted his acts as president with those of his predecessor, while complaining that a barrage of Democratic accusations about his conduct had hindered him from fulfilling his entire agenda.

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From the Center
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FACT CHECK

At a town hall event in the swing state of Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump made several false and misleading claims, some of which we have repeatedly debunked before.

He further embellished his talking points on trade with China, claiming China “didn’t do anything with us” before his recent trade agreement. The country has been a top trading partner with the U.S. for years. He repeated his false boast that the economy “never had growth like we’re experiencing” — the nation’s real annual economic growth has been higher 19 times in...

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