GOP candidates' response to Trump's town hall: "Weak"

The former president stopped by CNN on Wednesday night and received feedback from his main competitors for the 2024 primaries.

Donald Trump participated in a CNN town hall Wednesday night. It was the former president's first town hall in seven years, the last one being when he was in the middle of his first presidential campaign. Already with the third exchange of the night, he took the opportunity to criticize Joe Biden. He also gave his opinion on the war between Russia and Ukraine and even went as far as to call the moderator "nasty."

The former president arrived at Anselm College (New Hampshire) full of energy and was greeted by an audience of undecided Republicans from the state, where he visited earlier this year.

As for the current state of the United States under Joe Biden, Trump indicated that the country is "spending money like drunken sailors" and "is being destroyed by stupid people, by very stupid people."

As for his challengers for the 2024 Republican primary, he only addressed one of them and he hasn't even entered the race, Ron DeSantis. The former president attacked the Florida governor and envisioned his future, which "did not look good."

The response of Trump's Republican rivals to his town hall on CNN

Candidates vying for the Republican nomination had mixed reactions. While some chose to remain silent, others took up arms and went on the attack. Examples of the first case are Nikki Haley, Larry Elder and Vivek Ramaswamy, who chose not to respond, although Trump did post some campaign videos on social media.

The leader of the second group was Asa Hutchinson. The former Arkansas governor posted the following tweet on his Twitter account: "Trump reminded everyone tonight of his support of Russia and his willingness to sell out Ukraine. A weak position that will not win the war."

Others who joined in the criticism were Chris Sununu and Chris Christie, the current governor of New Hampshire and former governor of New Jersey, respectively. Both are strongly considering entering the presidential race and used the opportunity to give their thoughts on the town hall.

Sununu, who recently claimed he would do a "good job" as president, described Trump's image as "weak" and unable to attract the suburban voters the GOP needs to win back in 2024.

Christie went further and focused on the former president's remarks about the Russia-Ukraine war. He called him "Putin's puppet" for refusing to say that Ukraine should emerge victorious from the conflict.

"I think he’s a coward and I think he’s a puppet of Putin. I don’t know why, to tell you the truth, but I can’t figure it out, but there’s no other conclusion to come to," he added on the matter in dialogue with Hugh Hewitt.

When Trump was asked about it by the moderator, he said "I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people. I want everybody to stop dying." For Christie, that "was the most stunning moment in the debate."

Super PAC allied with DeSantis: "More than an hour of nonsense"

While the Florida governor did not respond directly to Trump's attacks from the town hall, Never Back Down, a Super PAC that supports him, spoke out.

"On the same day Ron DeSantis was assailing Joe Biden’s border crisis, Donald Trump was on CNN attacking DeSantis and lying about finishing the border wall," Erin Perrine, a spokeswoman for the organization, said in a statement.

She also blasted the former president for not being all that conservative, "After 76 years, Trump still doesn’t know where he stands on important conservative issues like supporting life and the Second Amendment. How does that Make America Great Again?" she added.