Dem rep pushes back on DNC decision to exclude Fox News from debates

Dem rep pushes back on DNC decision to exclude Fox News from debates
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jim HimesJames (Jim) Andres HimesRising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Live coverage: Mueller testifies before Congress MORE (D-Conn.) on Monday pushed back on the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) decision to exclude Fox News from hosting 2020 presidential primary debates.

“I don’t think it was the right decision," Himes said in an appearance on CNN's "New Day."

The Connecticut lawmaker continued by saying that while he thinks Fox News is "an instrument" of the Republican Party, it is watched by millions and should have Democrats sharing their ideas.

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"Fox is largely an instrument of the right wing, of the Republican Party, it’s a propaganda arm for the White House. However — and the reason I go on Fox is — it's watched by millions and millions of Americans.” 

“I’m a big believer that if you put our ideas, Democratic ideas … against whatever the nonsense is on the other side … I don’t care what channel you’re on, we will have the appealing ideas.”

DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward 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 announced last week that Fox News would not be permitted to host any of its 12 scheduled primary debates after The New Yorker reported on the network's close ties to President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE.

“Recent reporting in The New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and FOX News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, FOX News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates,” Perez said in a statement.

Bill Sammon, a senior vice president at Fox News and the network's managing editor, released a response shortly after, saying that the network hoped the DNC would reconsider, touting their high viewership and citing network journalists Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, “all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism.”

The first Democratic primary debates are scheduled for June, on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, and July, hosted by CNN.