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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 ButtigiegPete ButtigiegAgency official says Capitol riot hit close to home for former Transportation secretary Chao Transportation Secretary Chao resigns in protest Buttigieg is blazing trails for LGBTQ equality MORE is in talks to appear in a Fox News town hall.

A Buttigieg campaign spokesperson, speaking a day after Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack 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 WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo MORE (D-Mass.) and placed third among Democrats in a recent New Hampshire poll.

Other Democrats, including Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanSecurity concerns mount ahead of Biden inauguration Lawmakers briefed on 'horrifying,' 'chilling' security threats ahead of inauguration The Hill's Morning Report - House to impeach Trump on Wednesday MORE (Ohio) and Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellSwalwell compares Trump to bin Laden: They 'inspired and radicalized' Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump 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 KlobucharGoogle completes Fitbit acquisition Hillicon Valley: Fringe social networks boosted after Capitol attack | Planned protests spark fears of violence in Trump's final days | Election security efforts likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress US Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots 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