Obama ISIS Terror Speech Pulled In More Than 34 Million Viewers

September 12, 2014  |  

A whopping 34 million-plus people tuned in to watch President Obama’s speech on the terror group ISIS on Wednesday night, according to the Nielsen company. During the speech, Obama promised to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. The speech, however popular for viewing, got mixed reviews from the Hill. And, as with most things, responses were divided along party lines.

“The speech was immediately criticized by some of Obama’s fiercest foreign policy opponents. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dubbed the speech ‘fundamentally unserious’ on Fox News. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), using another acronym for ISIL, said on CNN that ‘the president really doesn’t have a grasp for how serious the threat from ISIS is,’” reports Politico.

But Senate Democrats praised the speech. According to Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Obama’s plan was a “forceful strategy.”

The particular speech pulled in a larger audience than several previous speeches by the president, even one on Iraq in 2010 and another on health care in 2009. The latest speech was carried on 14 different television outlets.

But it was not Obama’s most popular televised speech. Two speeches he delivered on television in 2009 had more viewers. One he gave on the stimulus plan reached 49.4 million viewers, and another to a joint session of Congress had 52.3 million viewers. The latter was Obama’s biggest audience.

“On the broadcast networks on Wednesday, NBC had about twice as many viewers as its primary news competitors. It averaged 10.4 million viewers compared with 5.4 million for ABC and five million for CBS,” reports The New York Times.

Looking at the cable news numbers, Fox News attracted the largest audience for the speech, with 4.45 million people watching. Surprisingly, CNN, which usually gets a boost in viewers from live news, did not catch up to Fox News’ figures, with 1.83 million. MSNBC even beat them, with 1.9 million, even though NBC was also broadcasting the speech.

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