The South Bend, Indiana, mayor and 2020 presidential Democratic candidate appeared on a town hall on Fox News on Sunday. Had nothing else happened at Buttigieg’s Fox News town hall, his appearance would have been notable because Democrats have debated whether 2020 candidates should even appear on a town hall hosted by the right-wing network at all. One Democratic presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren, recently rejected a town hall offer from the network, going so far as to say Fox News is a “hate-for-profit racket” that’s in business to harm the Democratic party.
But Buttigieg’s town hall appearance on Fox News was notable for another reason. The presidential hopeful didn’t shy away from the problems Democrats have with Fox News. Specifically, he condemned two of the network’s most popular opinion hosts for past disparaging comments they’ve made about immigrants and their plights. Specifically, Buttigieg said:
You know a lot of folks in my party were critical of me even doing this with Fox News. And I get where that’s coming from, especially when you see what goes on with some of the opinion hosts on this network. I mean, when you got Tucker Carlson saying that immigrants make American dirty. When you got Laura Ingraham comparing detention centers with children in cages to summer camps—summer camps—then there is a reason why anyone has to swallow hard and think twice before participating in this media ecosystem.
However, Buttigieg went on to say that he believes Democrats shouldn’t shun appearing on Fox News because there are some Americans who only get their news from Fox, and if Democrats don’t appear on the channel, those people will never hear their message:
But I also believe that even though some of those hosts are not always there in good faith, I think a lot of people tune into this network who do it in good faith. And there are a lot of Americans who my party can’t blame if they are ignoring our message because they will never hear it if we don’t go on and talk about it.
You can check out the clip of Buttigieg slamming Fox News’ opinion hosts below.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) May 19, 2019