Democratic California Rep. and presidential candidate Eric Swalwell reportedly wanted to participate in a town hall event on Fox News, but the network rebuffed his request.
“I would absolutely do a Fox town hall,” Swalwell said to CNN on Wednesday. “But they told us we can’t have one which is a little bit confusing to us because they have given them to people who are polling at the same place as us.”
CNN also reported that Swalwell found the network’s rejection to be “frustrating” because Fox News is “bemoaning that the Democrats won’t do the debates.”
Four candidates either already appeared in a town hall on Fox News or are scheduled to participate in one. Thus far, Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar have already hosted a town hall on the network. The ratings for Sanders’ appearance ranks first among presidential town halls this election cycle on any of the cable networks, while Klobuchar comes in at third.
According to the most recent Morning Consult poll, Sanders had 19%, Buttigieg 6%, Klobuchar 2%, and Gillibrand 1%. Swalwell comes in tied with Gillibrand, with 1%, proving his point that the network has scheduled a town hall for a candidate who is polling with the same support as he is. Gillibrand, however, has served two terms in the House and two in the Senate; Swalwell has only served in the House.
A Fox News spokesperson disputed Swalwell’s claim to CNN, but added that the door is still open for a future event. A Fox News spokesperson pointed The Daily Caller to that when asked to comment on CNN’s article.
Fellow presidential candidate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced on Wednesday that she would not host a presidential town hall on Fox News claiming it is “a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”
Hate-for-profit works only if there’s profit, so Fox News balances a mix of bigotry, racism, and outright lies with enough legit journalism to make the claim to advertisers that it’s a reputable news outlet. It’s all about dragging in ad money—big ad money.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 14, 2019
California Sen. Kamala Harris made the same decision following Warren’s announcement, according to Yashar Ali.
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and former Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper disagreed with Warren’s decision with Delaney offering to take her time slot.
Swalwell’s office did not respond to a request for comment.