Published: Wed, May 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Town hall on enemy turf? Fox News debate divides 2020 Dems

Town hall on enemy turf? Fox News debate divides 2020 Dems

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and 2020 Democratic hopeful, appeared on a Fox News town hall Sunday in which he blasted the network and some of its most popular hosts. "What's going on there?" Putting on more Democrats than you have Republicans.

The Fox & Friends hosts were also so aghast at the standing ovation Mayor Pete earned at the end of the town hall that Kilmeade accused him of filling the crowd with ringers. Elizabeth Warren turned down a similar chance while branding the network a "hate-for-profit racket". Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is expected to participate at a Fox News town hall event in June.

"With two dozen candidates, you're not running against any one competitor, you're kind of running against the whole field", Buttigieg said.

Even during primetime shows, CNN averaged only 568,000 viewers during the week of May 6-12, while Fox News attracted 1.4 million during the same time period. It's important for Democrats to "find people where they are", he said.

As The Daily Wire pointed out, The Morning Call's coverage of the event noted that Fox News "reached out to various political and local groups in the area and mined requests to attend after it publicly announced the event", and that the event was attended by Trump supporters, independents as well as Bernie supporters.

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Buttigieg had used part of his town hall in Claremont to call out Fox hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham for their coverage of the Mexico border migrant crisis. When Alabama and Missouri and Georgia and other states are setting up legal penalties, so that if a woman is raped and goes to get abortion care, the doctor who treats her could spend more time in prison than her rapist.

And with his criticism of the town halls, he seems to be trying to keep Fox in line - and in his corner. "He's willing to be questioned by Chris Wallace, something you've barely done since you've been president", said Hume.

The Democratic National Committee blacklisted Fox from hosting any of its primary debates, but Sanders agreed to appear on the channel anyway, arguing that Fox represented a voter base that deserves to be heard.

Philip Rucker of the Washington Post commented that Trump was admonishing a news network "for merely covering his political opponents".

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