O'Rourke says he is willing to appear on Fox News

O'Rourke says he is willing to appear on Fox News
© Greg Nash

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) said Wednesday he’d be willing to go on Fox News Channel.

Speaking to reporters in a dusty parking lot behind a coffee shop following a campaign rally that attracted about 300 people, O’Rourke criticized Fox News Channel’s “practices,” but said he doesn’t want to “write anybody off in this country.”

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“Though I strongly disagree with the practices of that organization, which has blurred the news, not just between news and entertainment, but [between] news and policy and the administration they’re tasked with covering and holding accountable,” the 2020 Democratic hopeful said. “But I want to make sure I don’t write anybody off in this country for their choice of cable programming.

“And so yes, I will continue to try to engage with Americans regardless of the platform or the format or the TV station. What specific show or format, I can’t speak to, but yes, I will speak to Fox viewers.” 

O'Rourke’s confirmation that he’d be willing to appear on the network comes one day after The Hill reported that South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders leads Democratic field in Colorado poll Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado Castro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates MORE is in talks to appear in a Fox News town hall.

A Buttigieg campaign spokesperson, speaking a day after Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden MORE (I-Vt.) appeared on a Fox News town hall, told The Hill that “reaching out to the Fox audience is something we intend to do.”

Some on the left criticized Sanders for appearing on Fox News, saying that his presence enabled the cable outlet to sanitize its reputation of leaning to the right. Sanders’s appearance delivered high ratings for the network, with more than 2.55 million people tuning in to watch the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate for the most-watched town hall of this campaign cycle.

Buttigieg, largely unknown on the national stage until recently, has been surging in the Democratic contest. He raised more money in the first fundraising quarter than Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE (D-Mass.) and placed third among Democrats in a recent New Hampshire poll.

Other Democrats, including Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanBiden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report Tim Ryan jokes he's having 'dance-off' with Andrew Yang The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape MORE (Ohio) and Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHickenlooper ends presidential bid Scenes from Iowa State Fair: Surging Warren, Harris draw big crowds Nadler hits gas on impeachment MORE (Calif.), also told The Daily Beast that they were willing to appear in a Fox News town hall. The network also announced Wednesday that Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharCastro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report MORE (D-Minn.) will appear in a town hall.

The pattern of Democrats appearing on Fox News comes after the Democratic National Committee said it would not allow the network to host any of the party’s primary debates, citing reported close ties with the Trump administration.

While Fox News has not commented about O'Rourke's remarks, Fox News and Fox Business president and Executive Editor Jay Wallace released a statement on Wednesday about their latest Town Hall with Sen. Amy Klobuchar coming in May. 

“FOX News Channel continues to produce highly informative and respectful town hall events, delivering record viewership and providing a platform to all candidates," Wallace said. 
 
"We are incredibly proud of the entire team and look forward to hosting Senator Klobuchar for our next town hall," he added. 
 
-- This story was updated on April 17 at 1:45 pm