Several 2020 Dems say they're ready to face Fox News town hall

Several 2020 Dems say they're ready to face Fox News town hall
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Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are willing to face a Fox News town hall following Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Pelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill top line higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war MORE's (I-Vt.) popular appearance at one such event on Monday night.

The Vermont lawmaker and 2020 White House hopeful's town hall drew more than 2.55 million viewers, making it the most-watched town hall of this campaign cycle so far. 

Although Fox's viewership leans conservative, the crowd at the event seemed supportive of Sanders's progressive policies.


The audience at one point erupted in cheers and applause when host Bret Baier asked if they would support Sanders's "Medicare for All" proposal.

The town hall came after the Democratic National Committee barred Fox News from hosting a Democratic presidential primary debate because of the network’s reportedly close ties to the Trump administration. DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE said Monday that the party is not reconsidering its decision.

However, Democratic candidates are not precluded from appearing on Fox News for interviews or town halls, and several presidential hopefuls have made appearances on the network in an effort to appeal to a broader range of voters.

Here are the 2020 candidates and likely candidates who say they would consider participating in a Fox News town hall.

Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDOJ sues to block JetBlue-American Airlines partnership On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership MORE

A spokesperson for Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who has been surging in fundraising and polling, told The Hill on Tuesday that the campaign is in talks with Fox News about appearing in a town hall event on the network.

"Reaching out to the Fox audience is something we intend to do," the spokesperson added.

Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang planning to launch third party: report Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Kings launch voting rights effort honoring John Lewis MORE

Yang, an entrepreneur who has never held public office, said after Sanders's town hall that he would be "happy" to appear in one.

"For what it’s worth I’d be happy to do a Town Hall on @FoxNews or @MSNBC," Yang tweeted. "Or just about any other platform that would reach a large number of Americans. The whole point is to reach as many Americans as possible."

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanOhio Republican tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in Rep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress MORE (D-Ohio)

A spokesperson for Ryan, who entered the race earlier this month, told The Hill on Tuesday that the campaign had been in contact with Fox News about a town hall.

"Congressman Ryan is willing to do a town hall with Fox News, and the campaign has reached out proactively to the network to express interest in this type of forum," campaign communications director Julia Krieger said.

"They have also reached out to our campaign," she added.

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyDirect air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy Lobbying world Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis MORE (D-Md.)

Delaney, who regularly appears on Fox News, "would welcome the opportunity" to appear in a town hall hosted by the network, a spokesperson told The Hill.

"John believes in talking to voters everywhere, everywhere on the ideological spectrum and everywhere geographically, and regularly goes on Fox News," campaign communications director Will McDonald said. "We would welcome the opportunity to do a Fox News town hall.” 

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails How lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation MORE (D-Calif.)

Swalwell has "said he's willing to appear on a Fox town hall," a spokesperson for his campaign told The Hill.

The California lawmaker previously said he makes efforts to appear on the network.

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetBuild Back Better Act must include funding to restore forests, make communities resilient and create jobs Interior reverses Trump, moves BLM headquarters back to DC Conservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support .5T spending plan MORE (D-Colo.)

Bennet has not yet made a final decision on a 2020 presidential bid, which he has said he will pursue if he beats his recent prostate cancer diagnosis.

If the Colorado lawmaker runs, "he would consider participating in a Fox News town hall," a spokesperson for Bennet told The Hill.

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska)

The 88-year-old former Alaska senator, who has said he is campaigning solely to introduce important ideas on the presidential debate stage, was noncommittal.

"Would we consider an appearance on a town hall? For atypical reasons: We don’t want to court voters — we want to smash the Overton window. We want to put radical, new ideas on the radar," Kathryn Kohn, communications director for Gravel's campaign, told The Hill.
"A town hall would give us the space to engage with ideas freely, expand the discourse, and advocate for our radical ideals with voters and not bad-faith talk show hosts. If we’re not constrained by 10 minutes of loaded questions on a cramped set, we have the room to freely advocate for an end to war, and end to violence abroad and an end to the injustice that plagued us at home."

The Hill has reached out to the campaigns of Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSenate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam House passes bill to compensate 'Havana syndrome' victims Harris 'deeply troubled' by treatment of Haitian migrants MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBipartisan senators to hold hearing on 'toxic conservatorships' amid Britney Spears controversy Senate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam White House faces increased cries from allies on Haitian migrants MORE (D-Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThis week: Democrats face mounting headaches Klobuchar: 'It is evil to make it deliberately hard for people to vote' Democrats push to shield election workers from violent threats   MORE (D-Minn.) and Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardProgressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition YouTube rival Rumble strikes deals with Tulsi Gabbard, Glenn Greenwald MORE (D-Hawaii), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeAnti-Greg Abbott TV ad pulled minutes before college football game: Lincoln Project O'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report Support for Abbott plunging in Texas: poll MORE (D-Texas), Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeSeattle area to require COVID-19 vaccine to enter indoor venues Washington state troopers, firefighters sue over vaccine mandate Washington state enacting mask mandate for large outdoor events MORE (D), former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperRep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress NY Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 in latest House breakthrough case Florida Democrat becomes latest breakthrough COVID-19 case in House MORE (D), Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamKey moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Wayne Messam suspends Democratic presidential campaign 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum MORE (D), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro (D), and author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson calls federal judge's handling of Steven Donziger case 'unconstitutional' Marianne Williamson calls on Biden to drop efforts to extradite Assange Susan Sarandon and Marianne Williamson call for justice in Steven Donziger case MORE.

The Hill also reached out to potential candidates former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE, former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).