CNN Debates, Town Halls, Speeches & Political Coverage

The CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.The CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.By: Josh Hallett

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CNN is a news TV channel with mainstream morning opinion shows, straight news during the day and center to center-left opinion shows in the evening.

Major Event Broadcasts

CNN airs extensive coverage of all major political and newsworthy events, including primary debates, general election debates, Presidential speeches, press conferences, and election nights. 

The amount of time CNN spends covering any major event depends on how important it is. For example, a general election debate between the Democratic and Republican nominees will get hours of coverage before and after the event while a hastily announced Presidential press conference may only receive minimal coverage outside of the event itself. 

When there is a major debate, CNN will bring together a team of journalists and political pundits to discuss what they think will happen during the debate and then bring them back on the air to discuss how they felt the debate went at the conclusion of the event. 

Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper are the lead anchors with Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, Jeffrey Toobin, Gloria Borger, John King, Manu Raju, Paul Begala, Jim Acosta, Dana Bash, S.E. Cupp, Rick Santorum, Ana Navarro, David Chalian, Kristen Powers, Tom Foreman, Chris Cillizza, and others offering commentary and updates throughout the day and night.

Morning Broadcasting

New Day is CNN's premiere morning show. The show, hosted by Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, spends three hours each morning discussing major news of the day and interviews major players in the political world. It's a mainstream morning show that invites politicians and pundits from across the political spectrum on to discuss the pressing issues of the day. 

Early Start and CNN Newsroom round out the early morning hours and early afternoon with straight news reporting along with any breaking news that happens during a given day.

Afternoon Broadcasting

CNN Newsroom airs coverage for the first three hours of each afternoon until Jake Tapper takes over with The Lead. Tapper's show is two hours long and he spends his time interviewing major political players both in and out of Washington from both sides of the political aisle. 

The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer follows Tapper for another two hours of straight news and breaking news coverage. Blitzer also interviews major political players both in and out of Washington from both sides of the aisle. 

Primetime Broadcasting

CNN's primetime coverage is center to center-left. Erin Burnett kicks off CNN's primetime coverage with her show Erin Burnett Out Front. 

Anderson Cooper's show, Anderson Cooper 360, is CNN's premiere primetime show. Cooper delivers lengthy personal commentary on the pressing issues of the day and also conducts in depth interviews with prominent politicians and celebrities. 

Cuomo Prime Time with Chris Cuomo and CNN Tonight With Don Lemon round out the remaining primetime hours. Both shows are more center-left with extensive commentary from both hosts. 

Previous CNN Debates (EST)
  • Joe Biden
    Biden
    Donald Trump
    Trump
    The third and final Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Both candidates were allowed to answer moderator Kristen Welker's initial questions for two minutes uninterrupted, as a new feature allowed opponent's mics to be muted during that timeframe. After the initial segment question, of which there were six, both candidates spoke freely. Biden and Trump addressed questions on outside interference with American elections, the economy, national security, the ongoing pandemic, healthcare, climate change and tax plans if elected. Final question was about Leadership. This debate was far more civil than their first.
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Kamala Harris
    Harris
    Mike Pence
    Pence
    Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence faced off at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City for their first and only debate. A couple memorable moments are when the moderator accidently referred to Senator Harris as Kamala Harris, to which the Senator responded "that's fine. I'm Kamala" and when a fly landed on Pence's head. The two repeatedly clashed over the Trump Administrations response to multiple crises gripping the United States, with Senator Harris strongly criticizing Trump and Pence for their inability to help everyday Americans and VP Pence largely sticking to talking points in defense of Trump.
  • Donald Trump
    Trump
    Joe Biden
    Biden
    The first Presidential Debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was held in front of a small audience at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The topics debated were Biden's and Trump's records, the Supreme Court, pandemic, economy, racial unrest, and election integrity. Donald Trump constantly interrupted Joe Biden, prompting the former Vice President to ask Donald Trump "will you shut up, man?" Chris Wallace, the moderator for the evening, constantly had to chime in to ask Donald Trump to stop interrupting Joe Biden.
  • Joe Biden
    Biden
    Bernie Sanders
    Sanders
    The 11th Democratic Debate was supposed to be held at the Arizona Federal Theatre, also known as the Comerica Theatre, in Phoenix , Arizona, but was moved to CNN studios in Washington, D.C. due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the nation. After ten debates with a multitude of candidates, this was the first head-to-head debate of the primary season, featuring the last two major candidates remaining - Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The two candidates spent over two hours debating with a large portion of the debate focused on the epidemic that has brought the economy to the brink and shut down large swaths of American society.
  • Joe Biden
    Biden
    Bernie Sanders
    Sanders
    Elizabeth Warren
    Warren
    Pete Buttigieg
    Buttigieg
    Tom Steyer
    Steyer
    Amy Klobuchar
    Klobuchar
    The 7th Democratic Debate co-hosted by CNN and The Des Moines Register was held at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Six candidates qualified for the debate in what was the smallest debate to date. The debate happened one day after Senator Warren accused Senator Sanders of privately telling her that a woman couldn't win the general election, an accusation Sanders vociferously denies. Another memorable element of the evening was Senator Klobuchar appearing to go on the attack against nearly everyone on the stage, especially the candidates she perceives as being too far left to win in a general election.
  • Joe Biden
    Biden
    Elizabeth Warren
    Warren
    Bernie Sanders
    Sanders
    Pete Buttigieg
    Buttigieg
    Kamala Harris
    Harris
    Andrew Yang
    Yang
    Beto O'Rourke
    O'Rourke
    Cory Booker
    Booker
    Amy Klobuchar
    Klobuchar
    Julián Castro
    Castro
    Tom Steyer
    Steyer
    Tulsi Gabbard
    Gabbard
    The fourth Democratic debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, just outside of Columbus, featured twelve candidates all sharing the same stage. Most observers paid close attention to how Senator Elizabeth Warren performance now that she is leading in many national polls and she had a fairly strong night. Eyes were also on Bernie Sanders, who is returning to the race after suffering a heart attack on October 1. He had a strong performance and is, at least for now, seeming to move on from his health emergency. Joe Biden had a relatively strong night without any major gaffes, but without any major memorable moment either.
  • Joe Biden
    Biden
    Kamala Harris
    Harris
    Cory Booker
    Booker
    Andrew Yang
    Yang
    Tulsi Gabbard
    Gabbard
    Michael Bennet
    Bennet
    Bill de Blasio
    de Blasio
    Julián Castro
    Castro
    Kirsten Gillibrand
    Gillibrand
    Jay Inslee
    Inslee
    Night two of the second Democratic debate in Detroit was a heated one between the 2020 hopefuls. The candidates focused more on attacking one another on issues such as healthcare and immigration than they did on how they would defeat Donald Trump. Kamala Harris was slammed by several candidates for her healthcare plan and her tenure as California's attorney general, but it was Joe Biden who received the majority of the blows by almost every candidate. His record was constantly called into question, as well as his position on the Hyde Amendment. Biden's responses were references to his time serving with Barack Obama.
  • Bernie Sanders
    Sanders
    Elizabeth Warren
    Warren
    Pete Buttigieg
    Buttigieg
    Beto O'Rourke
    O'Rourke
    Amy Klobuchar
    Klobuchar
    Steve Bullock
    Bullock
    John Delaney
    Delaney
    John Hickenlooper
    Hickenlooper
    Marianne Williamson
    Williamson
    Tim Ryan
    Ryan
    Night one of the second Democratic debate in Detroit featured two popular progressive candidates speaking the most, Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren, engaging in debates with more moderate candidates on topics including health care, immigration reform & college education. Tim Ryan and John Delaney were the most outspoken in support of more moderate positions providing a contrast while Pete Buttigieg with the 3rd most speaking time focused his criticism on Republicans. Steve Bullock made his first appearance and also defended more moderate positions.
Previous CNN Town Halls (EST)
Videos of Most Recent Notable Speaking Engagements on CNN
3rd Presidential Debate (2020)
The third and final Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Both candidates were allowed to answer moderator Kristen Welker's initial questions for two minutes uninterrupted, as a new feature allowed opponent's mics to be muted during that timeframe. After the initial segment question, of which there were six, both candidates spoke freely. Biden and Trump addressed questions on outside interference with American elections, the economy, national security, the ongoing pandemic, healthcare, climate change and tax plans if elected. Final question was about Leadership. This debate was far more civil than their first.
3rd Presidential Debate (2020)
The third and final Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Both candidates were allowed to answer moderator Kristen Welker's initial questions for two minutes uninterrupted, as a new feature allowed opponent's mics to be muted during that timeframe. After the initial segment question, of which there were six, both candidates spoke freely. Biden and Trump addressed questions on outside interference with American elections, the economy, national security, the ongoing pandemic, healthcare, climate change and tax plans if elected. Final question was about Leadership. This debate was far more civil than their first.
3rd Presidential Debate (2020)
The third and final Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Both candidates were allowed to answer moderator Kristen Welker's initial questions for two minutes uninterrupted, as a new feature allowed opponent's mics to be muted during that timeframe. After the initial segment question, of which there were six, both candidates spoke freely. Biden and Trump addressed questions on outside interference with American elections, the economy, national security, the ongoing pandemic, healthcare, climate change and tax plans if elected. Final question was about Leadership. This debate was far more civil than their first.
Vice Presidential Debate
Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence faced off at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City for their first and only debate. A couple memorable moments are when the moderator accidently referred to Senator Harris as Kamala Harris, to which the Senator responded "that's fine. I'm Kamala" and when a fly landed on Pence's head. The two repeatedly clashed over the Trump Administrations response to multiple crises gripping the United States, with Senator Harris strongly criticizing Trump and Pence for their inability to help everyday Americans and VP Pence largely sticking to talking points in defense of Trump.
Vice Presidential Debate
Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence faced off at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City for their first and only debate. A couple memorable moments are when the moderator accidently referred to Senator Harris as Kamala Harris, to which the Senator responded "that's fine. I'm Kamala" and when a fly landed on Pence's head. The two repeatedly clashed over the Trump Administrations response to multiple crises gripping the United States, with Senator Harris strongly criticizing Trump and Pence for their inability to help everyday Americans and VP Pence largely sticking to talking points in defense of Trump.
Vice Presidential Debate
Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence faced off at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City for their first and only debate. A couple memorable moments are when the moderator accidently referred to Senator Harris as Kamala Harris, to which the Senator responded "that's fine. I'm Kamala" and when a fly landed on Pence's head. The two repeatedly clashed over the Trump Administrations response to multiple crises gripping the United States, with Senator Harris strongly criticizing Trump and Pence for their inability to help everyday Americans and VP Pence largely sticking to talking points in defense of Trump.
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