Julián Castro Will Be the First Democrat of Color to Participate in Fox Town Hall

Julián Castro will become the first 2020 Democrat of color to participate in a Fox News town hall, joining a handful of fellow Democratic contenders who have appeared on the Republican-friendly network. Many Democrats have expressed their opposition to appearing on Fox News, which is often called the propaganda arm of the Trump administration.

The former Housing and Urban Development secretary will appear at his Fox News town hall on June 13. The one-hour event, which will be aired live from Phoenix, will be moderated by “Special Report” host Bret Baier and “The Story” host Martha MacCallum. Baier and MacCallum also moderated town halls with Democratic candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Fox News’ Chris Wallace moderated a town hall with Democratic hopefuls Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

“Our town halls have been overwhelmingly successful, which continues to prove that Fox News is the destination for Democratic presidential candidates. We look forward to hosting Julián Castro and having another informative conversation that will no doubt help shape the 2020 race,” Fox News President and Executive Editor Jay Wallace said in a statement.

When asked about Castro’s decision to attend a Fox News town hall, Castro’s campaign directed The North Star to his interview with Cheddar. “I recognize the reservations that some people have about appearing on Fox News. There are a lot of pundits on that channel that have made our political climate worse, that have demonstrated bigotry, sexism, any number of things. To me this is about being a president for all Americans,” Castro told Cheddar.

“I said that if I were elected president I would be a president, unlike this president that just wants to represent some people, that I would represent all Americans,” he continued. “So this is about going and speaking to an audience that generally just doesn’t have the opportunity to hear what I’m about and hear what I would do if I were their president. I want to make sure they have that opportunity to hear it.”

Fellow Democratic contender Senator Elizabeth Warren has opted not to appear in any town hall events hosted by Fox News. Speaking on “The View” on May 30, Warren said she would not help the network “raise money off” her name. She also accused Fox News executives of running a “hate-for-profit scam,” The Hill reported. “Here’s the deal about Fox News executives: They’re running a hate-for-profit scam,” Warren said. “They make a lot of money off those town halls. Right now advertisers are getting really antsy about being with Fox on a regular basis.”

Warren said she was willing to go anywhere in the county to speak to voters in “as many ways as I can.” However, she said she was unwilling to give Fox News an hour to raise money and gain credibility just “because they were willing to talk to me for an hour.” Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) also announced she would not do a town hall with Fox News. Freelance journalist Yashar Ali, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that the Democratic hopeful has no intention of going on the network.

Appearing in a Fox News town hall has the potential to expose candidates to millions of voters. Fox News reported that Sanders’ town hall averaged 2.6 million viewers, while Klobuchar and Buttigieg’s town halls averaged 1.6 million and 1.1 million, respectively. Castro, one of more than 20 Democratic presidential contenders, has not fared well in recent polls. A poll released by The Hill on June 3, shows former vice president Joe Biden leading Sanders by 19 percentage points, 35 percent to Sanders’ 16 percent. Buttigieg grabbed third place with 8 percent, while Warren came in fourth with 5 percent.

Harris and former Representative Beto O’Rourke were tied in fifth place with just 4 percent. Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, received less than 1 percent in the poll.

The Fox News town hall with Julián Castro will be held on June 13 at 6:30 p.m. ET.


About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.