Eric Swalwell isn’t happy that Fox News decided against allowing him have a town hall on their platform. The California Democrat said that he would “absolutely” appear in a town hall event on Fox, but his request was turned down by the network.
“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.”
Swalwell, who is mostly known for threatening to nuke Americans who believe in gun rights, is polling at around one percent.
Swalwell: Fox turned me down
Swalwell also said that he found Fox’s denial “frustrating” because of the network’s “bemoaning that the Democrats won’t do the debates,” referring to the Democratic party’s refusal to let Fox cover the Democratic primary debates. Attempting to spin his embarrassment into victory, the Democrat speculated that Fox is simply afraid to let him on
“I can only conclude that they are afraid to give me the opportunity.”
A Fox spokesperson denied Swalwell’s claim to CNN, and said that the opportunity remained open for him to come on. The Washington Examiner reported that Eric Swalwell’s campaign has come up short after three weeks of trying to get in touch with Fox.
“Fox News offered no criteria for how it selected candidates with whom to hold town halls. Rep. Swalwell appeared on Fox News 38 times in 2018 and 11 times so far in 2019, and continues to get almost-daily offers to appear on Fox News’ regularly scheduled programming,” his campaign said.
On the other hand, Swalwell has become a regular on liberal networks for his juvenile, unhinged anti-Trump punditry. Swalwell gained notoriety chiefly for his role in promoting the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, practically his sole claim to even running for president.
The Democrat has also attracted scrutiny for tin-eared tweets comparing Russian collusion to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 and threatening to nuke American citizens who support the Second Amendment. Swalwell’s campaign is centered on gun control.
Lightweight Democrat complains about
The question whether Democrats should appear on Fox is something of a strategic debate. Some say that Democrats cannot afford to lose the opportunity to reach Fox’s massive audience, and this may be especially true of Democrats like Senator Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.) and former vice president Joe Biden, who are in a close race to win over working-class voters in Trump country. Sanders was received surprisingly well in his town hall, the first that Fox hosted for any 2020 Democrat.
Sanders’ town hall ranked first in ratings for any town hall in the news cycle on any network, the Daily Caller reported, a testament to Fox’s reputation as the dominant network in cable. Democrats who are struggling for attention and good poll numbers, like Swalwell, can hardly afford to lose the platform they provide.
On the other hand, Fox is widely seen by liberals as promoting hate and false information. Apparently sensing an opportunity to shore up her progressive bona-fides, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.) recently announced that she will not seek a Fox News Town hall, saying that Fox is a “hate-for-profit racket.”
Senator Kamala Harris (D-Ca.) has also ruled out appearing in a Fox town hall.
Fox has also hosted Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn.). Other Democrats are expected to come on the network soon, including South, Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-Ny.).
While Gillibrand and Klobuchar are both languishing in the bottom of the polls with Swalwell – Klobuchar has about one percent, and Gillibrand has one – Buttigieg is a considerably more visible candidate, polling around 6 percent.