Klobuchar follows in the footsteps of fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose Monday town hall on the conservative-leaning network was both a ratings success and a chance for him to demonstrate the popularity of some of his bolder ideas. On the flip side, it opened up Sanders to criticism that he was helping legitimize a media outlet that traffics in Islamophobia, climate change denial and other dangerous messages.
“We are incredibly proud of the entire team and look forward to hosting Senator Klobuchar for our next town hall,” Jay Wallace, president and executive editor of Fox News and Fox Business, said in a statement on Wednesday. He added that the network is dedicated to “providing a platform to all candidates.”
The event will once again be run by “Special Report” host Bret Baier and “The Story” host Martha MacCallum. The pair are considered a far cry from the more controversial right-wing personalities on Fox News, such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.
The town halls with Sanders and Klobuchar follow the Democratic National Committee’s announcement in March that it would not partner with Fox News on any presidential primary debates in this election cycle. The DNC pointed to a New Yorker exposé on the network’s close ties with the Trump administration.
Sanders, the first major 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to do an event of this type on Fox News, defended his appearance to HuffPost earlier this month. The town hall would allow him to speak directly to red state voters, he argued.
“When I go on Fox, what I will say is, ‘Look, many of you voted for Donald Trump, but he lied to you,’” Sanders said. “He told you he was gonna provide health care for everybody. Yet his policies are to throw 30 million people off of the health insurance they have.”
On Tuesday, the day after Sanders’ town hall, aides for South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) all told media outlets that their candidates were hoping to appear on similar events on Fox News.