On Monday night President Trump interrupted scheduled programming (including Bachelor in Paradise, enraging reality TV fans) to give a prepared and uncharacteristically toned down speech on why the nation must seek “an honorable and enduring outcome” in Afghanistan. The speech was in sharp contrast to many previous remarks Trump has made on the war Afghanistan, which was a frequent topic of criticism when it came to his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
Speaking of Obama, when the 44th president gave a similar address on his own Afghanistan war strategy, shortly into his first term in office in 2009, he pulled in 40.8 million viewers.
Trump on the other hand … did not get that many, at just 17.5.
Airing from 9 p.m. until approximately 9:30, Trump’s speech drew a 1.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.2 million viewers on NBC. On ABC, the speech averaged a 1.2 and 4.7 million viewers. CBS was next with a 0.7 and 4.1 million. Fox drew a 0.6 and 2.5 million. Final numbers, as well as cable news ratings for the speech, will be available later today.
Granted, those are preliminary numbers, and Variety points out that once cable news coverage is factored in, it will likely offset the divide — although even then, it seems doubtful that Trump’s final numbers will come anywhere close to surpassing Obama’s. Given how much Trump obsesses over crowd size and ratings, one can’t imagine that he’s going to be thrilled when he catches wind of the news.