Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic hopeful, has agreed to be hosted by Fox News for a town hall on Sunday night but not without controversy.
While agreeing to participate, the South Bend mayor said he “strongly condemns” the network’s hosts. And, in a statement uploaded to social media, Buttigieg said the goal of Fox News was to “spread fear and lies.”
“There’s been a lot of debate recently about whether Democratic presidential candidates should go on Fox News,” Buttigieg said in the statement, as fellow Democratic candidates have brought up the issue. “First, let me be clear: I strongly condemn the voices on Fox and in the media that uncritically amplify hate and the divisive sort of politics that gave rise to this presidency.”
“Just because many of these opinion hosts don’t operate in good faith, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t Fox viewers tuning in in good faith,” Buttigieg continued. “If we ignore the viewers of Fox News and every news platform that doesn’t share our worldview, we will surrender our ability to speak directly to millions of American voters. If we don’t show up, the conservative media will tell our side of the story for us.”
The Hill reports:
The comments from Buttigieg came as several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates weigh the potential benefits of appearing on the conservative-friendly network.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) last week knocked Fox News as a “hate-for-profit machine” while saying that she would never appear in a town hall hosted by it.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) reportedly has no plans of appearing on the network for a town hall either. An aide to Harris’s campaign told The Hill that the network has “reached out, but we haven’t entertained it.”
But many 2020 candidates have taken a different stance on the issue. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) have already appeared in town halls on the network. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) also has plans to participate in one.
Fox News did not comment on Buttigieg’s comments directly, but confirmed the Democratic presidential candidate would be attending the town hall:
The national spotlight is coming this weekend to this small city on the western edge of the first-in-the-nation primary state.
Claremont, New Hampshire, a one-time mill community along the Vermont border, is the site of Sunday’s Fox News town hall with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
The city with a picturesque downtown had fallen on hard times but has seen a steady recovery in recent decades. It also was a reliable Democratic stronghold in presidential elections for years — but went for President Trump in 2016. The community is likely to see plenty of political foot traffic as the next election nears.
The city in recent decades was a stronghold for Democrats in the race for the White House. Former President Barack Obama captured Claremont by around 1,200 votes in his 2008 presidential victory and his 2012 re-election.
But Trump carried the city by 151 votes over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, becoming the first GOP candidate to win Claremont since 1988.