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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 ButtigiegButtigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 Biden town hall questioner worked as speechwriter in Obama administration: report MORE is in talks to appear in a Fox News town hall.

A Buttigieg campaign spokesperson, speaking a day after Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw 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 WarrenOvernight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA MORE (D-Mass.) and placed third among Democrats in a recent New Hampshire poll.

Other Democrats, including Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanNow's the time to make 'Social Emotional Learning' a national priority Mourners gather outside Supreme Court after passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lincoln Project hits Trump for criticizing Goodyear, 'an American company' MORE (Ohio) and Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellGraham says SC people of color can go anywhere in the state but 'need to be conservative, not liberal' President Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 House in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power 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 Klobuchar Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Senate Democrats seek to alleviate public concern about some results not being available on election night Washington flooded with Women's March protesters ahead of Barrett confirmation vote 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