“Tomorrow night is the biggest town hall of the campaign,” Chief News Executive Jen Psaki said in the briefing. There will be a town hall from Virginia, from a different state. “So there’s a variety of town halls between now and then.”
Asked about both types of town halls, she said: “Between now and the election, we’re going to see a lot of them.”
In 2015, the White House held 48 town halls. So far this year, they’ve run 54.
A Twitter account that claims to be the official account of Mr. Kelly, and which carries his tweets, has posted a succession of town halls that have been broadcast on cable news.
Last weekend, several saw roundtables with Democratic candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
“These are directly-contacted town halls, whether they’re on cable or broadcast,” Ms. Psaki said. “They’re all for public consumption.”
That would appear to conflict with what the showrunners of the town hall say they want: A chance for the candidates to set a tone.
“We’re not about propaganda,” said Skip Brittenham, executive producer of “Town Hall,” an on-air, interactive program that is broadcast by CNN. “We’re about lively debate.”
The show pairs the candidate with a pundit from the two parties, then invites questions from the audience — which, Mr. Brittenham said, the campaign sometimes cannot see for the live broadcast, even though the questions are vetted and known.
“It is absolutely open-ended,” Mr. Brittenham said. “It’s the very nature of a town hall that is quite diverse.”
Once the town hall is underway, a second show, “Town Hall Presented by Sherwin-Williams,” is designed to make the candidates sound a little different.
“Sherwin-Williams is an apolitical paint company,” said Nigel Hearne, executive producer of “Town Hall Presented by Sherwin-Williams.” “It doesn’t have a particular issue that it’s political about. But since this is a town hall question, let’s talk about what has to do with building better fences or making it easier to enforce our border laws.”
The town hall hosts also are working on “what can I do to flip this vote” and asking “how will I talk to my grandkids” about the presidential election. Mr. Hearne is also asking himself: “How can I just be able to sit at my kitchen table and have a political discussion with my children about how we’re going to keep our country a country we all recognize?”
Sherwin-Williams is a sponsor, but the town hall also will feature Mr. Trump’s campaign.