Campaign

Castro to participate in Fox News town hall

Greg Nash

Julián Castro’s presidential campaign announced Thursday that the former Housing and Urban Development secretary will participate in a Fox News town hall on June 13 in Arizona.

“Secretary Castro is looking forward to the opportunity to share his vision for the future of our country with the FOX News audience in a state that should be critical for Democrats in 2020,” Castro’s campaign manager Maya Rupert said in a statement.

The event will be held in Phoenix and hosted by Bret Baier of “Special Report” and Martha MacCallum of “The Story.”

{mosads}The town hall will be an opportunity for Castro to reach a new set of voters amid languishing poll numbers. The former San Antonio, Texas, mayor has polled close to 2 percent in most national and state surveys.

Castro will be the fifth 2020 candidate to appear in a Fox News town hall, following Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D).

Some candidates have explicitly refused to participate in town halls hosted by the network.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) earlier this month blasted Fox News as a “hate-for-profit machine,” saying she would never appear in a Fox town hall.

Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D-Calif.) campaign previously told The Hill that the network has “reached out, but we haven’t entertained it.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez declared in March that the party would not allow Fox News to host any of its presidential primary debates in the 2020 election cycle.

Castro, 44, appeared in an April 11 town hall hosted by “CNN Tonight” anchor Don Lemon, drawing 654,000 viewers.

Fox News drew 2.6 million viewers for a town hall with Sanders that same month, while 1.6 million tuned in for Klobuchar’s event in early May and 1.1 million watched Sunday’s town hall with Buttigieg. 

CNN has hosted more than 20 town halls this year and will host four more events featuring 2020 Democratic contenders in the coming days.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) on Thursday will appear on CNN at 10 p.m. The event will be moderated by chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
 
Democratic Reps. Seth Moulton (Mass.), Tim Ryan (Ohio) and Eric Swalwell (Calif.) are slated to appear on Sunday in back-to-back town halls beginning at 6 p.m. The moderators for those events will be anchors Victor Blackwell, Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, respectively.
 
The four town halls will take place at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, the network said.

MSNBC has also been featuring 2020 Democratic hopefuls in town halls, including one on Tuesday night with Harris that attracted 2.2 million viewers. 

Joe Concha contributed.

Tags Amy Klobuchar Arizona Atlanta Bernie Sanders CNN Dana Bash debates Don Lemon Elizabeth Warren Eric Swalwell Fox News Kirsten Gillibrand Michael Bennet MSNBC Pete Buttigieg Phoenix primaries primary San Antonio Seth Moulton Texas Tim Ryan Tom Perez town hall

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