CNN announces string of 2020 town halls

CNN on Tuesday announced a string of town halls in the coming weeks featuring five different Democrats running for president in 2020.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers MORE (D-N.Y.) will appear in the first town hall, which will air on April 9 and be moderated by Erin Burnett. Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeInslee calls on Trump to ‘stay out of Washington state’s business’ Seattle mayor responds to Trump: ‘Go back to your bunker’ Trump warns he will take back Seattle from ‘ugly Anarchists’ if local leaders don’t act MORE (D-Wash.) will join CNN for another town hall the next day that Wolf Blitzer will host. Former San Antonio Mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian CastroJulian CastroNew York legislature votes to release disciplinary records for officers Trump calls New York Times ‘fake newspaper’ after headline change Castro, Warren, Harris to speak at Texas Democratic virtual convention MORE will appear at another town hall on April 11 and be interviewed by Don Lemon. 


CNN will also host back-to-back town halls on April 14 with author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson touts endorsements for progressive congressional candidates The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Warren becomes latest 2020 rival to back Biden The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden looks to stretch lead in Tuesday contests MORE and businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE to be moderated by Dana Bash and Ana Cabrera, respectively.

The network has already hosted several town halls with presidential contenders, giving candidates opportunities to get their names and platforms out to the public.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) scored the highest-rated town hall for CNN this year in delivering nearly 1.9 million total viewers on Jan. 28. The event was moderated by “State of the Union” anchor Jake Tapper.

The most recent town hall on the network with Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-NJ) last Wednesday delivered 929,000 total viewers. “CNN Tonight” anchor Don Lemon moderated that event. 

But perhaps the biggest beneficiary of CNN’s town hall format thus far is South Bend Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE, whose presidential campaign is still technically in the exploratory phase. His appearance last month was swiftly followed by an avalanche of media attention and a surge in donations to his campaign, cementing his status as a serious contender after entering the race as a little-known Indiana mayor.

He announced the next day that his campaign received donations from more than 65,000 Americans, reaching the threshold to appear on the Democratic debate stage this summer. 

Other candidates to be featured in CNN town halls this year include Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic MORE (D-Hawaii), Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what ‘policing’ means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight Minnesota AG Keith Ellison says racism is a bigger problem than police behavior; 21 states see uptick in cases amid efforts to reopen The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan says there will be consequences from fraying US-China relations; WHO walks back claims on asymptomatic spread of virus MORE (Md.) and Buttigieg, as well as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has not declared his candidacy.

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