DNC chief says party will not reconsider holding Dem debates on Fox News

Democratic National Committee 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 told Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer on Monday that the party is not reconsidering its decision to bar the network from hosting a Democratic presidential primary debate.

"Will you reconsider your decision on having debates here on the Fox News Channel?" Hemmer asked Perez during an interview on "America's Newsroom."

"You know what, Bill? Here's why we won't do that," Perez responded. "I don't have faith in your leadership at Fox News at the senior levels. I have great respect for Bret [Baier] and for Chris [Wallace] and for you, but you've demonstrated that above your pay grade, they don't trust your own listeners, and so they feel like they have to put the thumb on the scale."  

Perez said on March 6 that he had held conversations with Fox News about potentially allowing the network to host a primary debate.

But he later said that a story published in The New Yorker that claimed the network had extensive ties with the Trump administration prompted the committee to end consideration.  

Baier, Wallace and Hemmer are part of the network's news division.


Wallace served as the first member of Fox News to moderate a general election presidential debate, winning accolades after his performance by those usually critical of the network. 

"They have pierced that line between editorial and your Sean Hannity shows," Perez also said regarding Fox News management. "If they want to do that, that's fine."  

Hemmer responded by making the case that there is a line between the news division and editorial sides of the network.  

"You know there is a line between what we do at 9 o’clock [in the morning] and what happens in the prime time," Hemmer said. "It’s like reading a newspaper, Tom, and it’s been the same way for a long time."  

"I really hope you come back, and I really hope you reconsider. We’ll give you a fair shake," Hemmer added.

The back-and-forth came hours before 2020 Democratic contender Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDrugmaker caps insulin costs at to help diabetes patients during pandemic The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Sen. Brown endorses Biden for president MORE (I-Vt.) is set to appear in a Fox News town hall to be broadcast live from Bethlehem, Pa.

The event will be moderated by "Special Report" anchor Baier and "The Story" anchor Martha MacCallum.  

When asked for comment by The Hill, a spokesperson for Fox News pointed to Hemmer's comments in the segment in which he called out the difference between Fox News opinion hosts and news journalists.