Eric Swalwell: ‘I would absolutely do a Fox town hall,’ but network rejected me

May 16, 2019 GMT

Fox News is rejecting a claim by Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Eric Swalwell that the network refused to give him a town hall broadcast.

Mr. Swalwell, California Democrat, told CNN on Wednesday that Fox News denied him the opportunity for a town hall, unlike some of his Democratic rivals.

“I would absolutely do a Fox town hall,” he said, “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.”

Mr. Swalwell said Fox News’ decision was “frustrating” given that network commentators have been “bemoaning that the Democrats won’t do the debates.”


“I can only conclude that they are afraid to give me the opportunity,” he said.

CNN reported that a Fox News spokeswoman disputed Mr. Swalwell’s claim and said the network has “left the door open for a future opportunity with him.”

The exchange comes after Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren refused to do a town hall with Fox News, calling it a “hate-for-profit racket” and a mouthpiece for President Trump.

Her decision sparked criticism by commentators on the right and left, including MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-hosts and the entire panel of ABC’s “The View” who argued that she should be able to face situations that make her uncomfortable.

“If you’re not using your town hall, I will,” fellow 2020 Democrat John Delaney tweeted at Ms. Warren on Tuesday. “Democratic candidates have to campaign everywhere and talk to voters.”

“I agree with @ewarren that our media is too polarized, but I don’t believe we should stop talking to people who don’t agree with us,” John Hickenlooper, another 2020 hopeful, tweeted. “Our crisis of division calls for meeting people where they are and putting new, inclusive ideas forward.”

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar have already held Fox News town halls and several other candidates are scheduled for them in the near future. It appears that Sen. Kamala Harris is the only candidate following Ms. Warren’s lead in boycotting the network.

“They’ve reached out but we haven’t entertained it,” a Harris campaign spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday.