Many Democrats routinely disparage Fox News for allegedly leaning too far to the right and being too pro-Trump, so much so that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has refused to let the network host a 2020 Democratic primary debate and several top-tier Democratic candidates have refused to make appearances on the network.
Democrat 2020 presidential hopeful Julian Castro is not one of those, however, and he defended his decision to take part in a recent hour-long Fox News town hall when pressed on the matter by an MSNBC host.
Can progressives be on Fox?
The Hill reported that Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Obama, was asked about his decision to participate in the Fox News town hall event in Arizona during an interview with MSNBC host David Gura.
Part of a segment involving a casual conversation over iced tea and pastries, Gura introduced the discussion by noting the controversy among some Democrats over appearing on the rival news network. In light of that, Gura asked Castro what went into his decision to do the town hall event.
“I’m very progressive. I’ve shown that when I’ve been out there on the stump and in the policies that we’ve rolled out,” Castro replied. “But I also respect what other people believe and I know that if we’re going to get great things done for the country, it’s going to take working with the other side.”
Focused on people watching
Gura then asked if Castro was “sympathetic” to the left’s complaints about Fox and the stance taken by some of his fellow Democratic candidates in refusing to appear on the network at all.
“Everybody has their own way of thinking about these things,” Castro replied. “I definitely take the concerns about Fox News, and I understand completely how people feel.
“But what I’m focused on is not the news organization, what I’m focused on are the people out there watching,” Castro added in reference to the millions of conservative, independent, and moderate viewers who routinely tune into Fox News.
Though Castro was able to qualify for the first Democratic primary debate that will be held on two nights near the end of June, his campaign has yet to really gain traction, much less take off to elevate him from the also-ran category to the top-tier of serious contenders.
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Castro currently ranks in 11th place among the roughly two dozen candidates, with less than 1% support among the various polls.
Whether his appearance on Fox News will provide him a boost in support in subsequent polling, or whether his appearance on the network fell flat with viewers, remains to be seen.
However, unlike the DNC and purportedly serious candidates like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who has made a big deal out of her refusal to participate in any Fox News events — at least Castro has the guts to go on Fox and make an appeal to scores of viewers who may otherwise never hear from him, potentially earning additional support for his long-shot campaign.