Conservative talk show host Dan Bongino said former President Donald Trump's performance during a CNN town hall was so good Wednesday night that he effectively wrapped up the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
"I'm going to say after last night, I don't know what you guys think, the primary is over," Bongino said during his opening monologue Thursday of "The Dan Bongino Show" podcast.
"It's over man. ... Trump was in rare form last night and just lit CNN on fire to the point where CNN was questioning CNN at the end of the night."
Bongino said the town hall was "an absolute disaster" for liberals.
"Last night, CNN thought it was going to be the kill shot for Donald Trump," he said. "It turned out to be the kill shot for CNN. Absolutely body-bagged the CNN audience last night. Absolutely hapless [town hall host] Kaitlan Collins. Just hapless.
"CNN, of course, wanted to have Trump on because of the ratings. They thought they could 'control' Donald Trump. I think we've learned for the last seven years now that no one is going to control Donald Trump. "
Bongino said he has no hard feelings toward others who have declared as candidates for the 2024 GOP nod, but he said he does not see a chance for them in the race after last night.
"I say this with a lot of love. I think I've been very fair to all candidates in the race," he said. "I genuinely like, as people, a lot of people in there. I don't have a relationship with Nikki Haley at all, but I love the Vik [Vivek Ramaswamy], I'm an investor in one of his funds. I love the Vik.
"I think Tim Scott is a good guy. I don't know how conservative he is, but I think his story is amazing. And I'm in Florida, and I can tell you right now we've never had a better governor [in Ron DeSantis]. You're never going to get me to say otherwise. I don't care who says what.
"But I'm a Trump guy. I've always been a Trump guy. I don't think that's a mystery. I think after last night, it's over."
Bongino said he can judge how successful Trump was by the reaction of liberals to his performance. He pointed to a headline from a New York Post story — "Donald Trump's CNN Town Hall live updates: Liberal journalists, AOC blast network over event: 'Lost total control.'"
He also noted a tweet Wednesday night by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.: "CNN should be ashamed of themselves. They have lost total control of this 'town hall' to again be manipulated into platforming election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim. The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host."
Bongino said, "When the media starts freaking out about what Donald Trump is doing, it means Donald Trump did something really destructive to the enemies of America. Always gauge the success and failure by that.
"They have got some real problems right now. Donald Trump is back. He was back last night, and I'll tell 'ya, he had a lot of substance with what he had to say."
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