MSNBC co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren for turning down a Fox News town hall broadcast, arguing that 2020 presidential candidates should be able to face any situation in order to reach voters.
During Wednesday’s “Morning Joe,” Ms. Brzezinski said that while Fox News’ prime-time programming is “a direct connection from a corrupt president” to people “who parrot it like a bunch of dupes,” there are some “good journalists” at the network who could help Ms. Warren get her message out to swing voters.
“I would argue that a presidential candidate should be able to walk into any situation, walk into any fire, and have the confidence and the ability to put it out, by spreading the democratic values and his or her beliefs,” Ms. Brzezinski said. “And I think they should go into Fox and do all the town halls they can do. Because Fox, you could argue, is smart to be doing these — that’s a sign of some sort of change, hopefully, or at least an opportunity for it.”
Mr. Scarborough agreed with his wife and co-host, saying there are anchors at Fox News like Shepard Smith and Bret Baier who “do the news pretty darn straight.”
“You have Democrats that watch Fox News, you have independents that watch Fox News, swing voters watch Fox News,” Mr. Scarborough said. “You have to get out in front of people who may not agree with you.
“It seems to me Fox News is a great place for Democrats to go engage and pick up a few swing voters,” he said. “At the very least, who knows, you may get support from people who never would have supported you before.”
MSNBC reporter Willie Geist pointed out that Ms. Warren had been a guest on Fox News before, so there was an “obvious element of politics” to her rejection this time around.
“This will play well with a lot of people who are already going to vote for her, and I understand it will raise some money,” Mr. Geist said. “I just don’t think going on Fox News in a town hall setting with say, Bret Baier or Martha MacCallum or Chris Wallace is an endorsement of prime time on Fox, if that’s what you’re worried about. I think you’re not talking to the hosts at Fox News, you’re talking to the viewers of Fox News who may be having some doubts about President Trump, and if you can win a couple of votes it seems to me to be worth it.”
Ms. Brzezinski added, “You get on Fox, though, and you can say what you think of their prime time — to Fox viewers.”
Ms. Warren came out swinging Tuesday against Fox News, issuing a series of tweets explaining why she rejected the opportunity for a town hall event with the network.
“Here’s one place we can fight back: I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates — especially when Fox will make even more money adding our valuable audience to their ratings numbers,” she tweeted.
The move breaks with fellow Democratic presidential candidates like Sen. Bernard Sanders and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who have both appeared in town halls on the network.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will also appear in a Fox News town hall on Sunday, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is scheduled for June 2.
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