CNN is welcoming more 2024 contenders onto their network for town halls ahead of the primaries, except there’s only one catch: they’re only inviting Republicans, leaving out perhaps President Joe Biden’s biggest challenger: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK).
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has been taking heat from all sides after refusing to hold primary debates despite Biden facing self-help author Marianne Williamson and former environmental lawyer RFK. And while parties typically do not hold debates if there is an incumbent, RFK’s polling at around 20% seems significant enough to warrant a network town hall.
Former Vice President Mike Pence is slated to join CNN on Wednesday for a town hall with voters in Iowa after officially launching his bid and the network will then host former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on June 12.
Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also joined the network for a town hall on Sunday and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is also running for the GOP nomination, frequents the network though an official town hall has yet to be announced.
But what these three GOP contenders have in common is that they all poll under 5%, according to the RealClearPolitics average. Pence currently polls at 3.8, Christie at 1.0 and Haley at 4.4.
Former President Donald Trump, who kicked off CNN’s town hall frenzy, is currently polling at 53.2%, according to RealClearPolitics. Of course, it makes sense to have the leading GOP candidate join a town hall before the Republican debates.
So why is CNN giving GOP long-shots all this air time but seemingly bucking Biden’s greatest threat? (RELATED: Corporate Media’s Latest Town Hall Could Be A Ploy To Boost Biden In The General Election)
As Politico reported, Biden and his team are counting on the media to do his dirty work.
“They are counting on reporters and other Democrats to do the work of informing voters about Kennedy’s well-established views. Once that happens, as one Democratic strategist put it to us, they will ‘realize he’s running in the wrong party.”
“The overwhelming sense inside the campaign and White House orbits is that any other posture would elevate him from a gadfly with a good name to a genuine contender,” Politico reported.
RFK has been stifled on other networks, though for different reasons. ABC News edited a portion of an interview with Kennedy over his claims on vaccines and their alleged connection to autism. The network said that Kennedy “made false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines” and “made misleading claims about the relationship between vaccination and autism.”