Donald Trump berated Fox News, his favorite TV network, for hosting a town hall with Democratic Party 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg, who received a standing ovation from a New Hampshire crowd.
The President — a frequent Fox viewer and close ally of senior network personalities — tweeted on Sunday: “Hard to believe that @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him.”
“Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems. They got dumped from the Democrats boring debates, and they just want in. They forgot the people…”
“…who got them there,” Trump added in a second tweet.
Buttigieg was speaking with Fox News host Chris Wallace in Claremont, New Hampshire on Sunday, a few hours after Trump had tweeted his disapproval.
When the interview and Q&A finished, the audience got to their feet and applauded the 2020 Democratic Party candidate, who is currently mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Wallace, looking around the room, commented: “Wow, a standing ovation.”
During the broadcast Wallace asked Buttigieg about Trump’s Twitter outburst.
“The tweets are — I don’t care,” Buttigieg replied.
He did admit that it is “hard for any one to look away” when Trump tweets, adding that “it is the nature of grotesque things that you can’t look away.”
Trump also reprimanded host Chris Wallace in his second tweet.
“Gee, he [Wallace] never speaks well of me – I like Mike Wallace better…and Alfred E. Newman will never be President!”
(In the past Trump has compared Buttigieg to the cartoon character Alfred E. Neuman, a character from “Mad” magazine also known as “idiot kid.”)
While appearing on Fox, Buttigieg took issue with primetime Fox hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, who were not at the event.
He denounced Tucker Carlson for “saying immigrants make America dirty,” and Laura Ingraham for “comparing detention centers with children in cages to summer camps.”
Despite his apparent annoyance, Trump appeared on Fox News with Steve Hilton later on Sunday night, during which he was asked what he thinks of Buttigieg’s candidacy.
He replied: “I think it’s good. I think he runs a city that doesn’t do perfectly, and I think he’s had – you know, it’s sort of interesting because he’s running for the president of the United States as a mayor.”
Buttigieg told host Chris Wallace at the town hall that many Democratic Party members weren’t pleased with his decision to appear on Fox.
“A lot of people in my party were critical of me doing this, and I get where that’s coming from, especially when you see what goes on with some of the opinion hosts on this network,” he told Wallace.
Senator Elizabeth Warren refused to speak at the town-hall, and called Fox News a “hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”
On March 6, the Democratic National Committee said they would not be partnering with Fox News for any 2020 debates.
“There’s a reason anybody has to swallow hard and think twice before participating in this media ecosystem,” Buttigieg told Wallace.
“But I also believe that even though some of those hosts are not always there in good faith, I think a lot of people tune into this network who do it in good faith.”