Bernie Sanders’ Fox News town hall got off to a raucous start Monday evening when he responded to the first question, “What is your assessment of the Trump administration’s handling of the [coronavirus] outbreak and what would you do differently?”
Not surprisingly, Sanders gave the Trump administration a bad review. “Sadly, we have an administration in Washington that has shown the world that it does not believe in science,” Sanders said. He also touted his Medicare for all and sick leave plans as a way to make sure everybody who needs to, goes to the doctor and stays home when ill, not just for their own sakes, but for the sake of not infecting others.
Then when pressed as to what he’d do differently right now, Sanders laid into Trump.
“I would not be a president saying to the world […] I have a natural ability to understand the problem,” Sanders said.
Cohost Bret Baier sounded reluctant to admit that Trump had said that.
“He doesn’t have a natural ability!” Sanders roared. The crowd cheered.
Sanders continued, “My point is, for a start, as a president, I don't claim if I'm president that I'm the world's greatest scientific expert on climate change or coronavirus. You listen to the scientists. You don't say stupid things. You don't suggest to people that you can go to work. That's not what the science or the doctors –
Baier interrupted, talked over Sanders at that point, and said, “Let’s talk about the economy. The markets dropped – “
Now it was Sanders’ turn to interrupt. “What, we’re not talking about coronavirus anymore?”
There was an exchange between them that I didn’t quite hear before Sanders joked, “I always give this guy a hard time,” (Baier agreed) “Because I remind him he’s on Fox television. He forgot about it.”
It was a charming moment and Sanders got in some great jabs at the Trump administration.
But here’s the thing. Despite the needling, Sanders gave Fox a big, undeserved boost in credibility and prestige. Probably advertising dollars, too. And, I’m sorry, but Democrats need to treat Fox News as an enemy every bit as dangerous as Donald Trump is, no matter how nice any individual host(s) may be. Needling doesn’t cut it, in my book. Sanders should have insisted on finishing his thoughts. The coronavirus is killing Americans and it is obvious that Trump is terrifyingly ill-equipped to handle the crisis.
You can read my more in-depth post about what’s wrong with Democrats doing Fox News town halls here. But for now, you can watch Sanders slam Trump below, from Sanders' March 9, 2020 town hall.
Published with permission of NewsHounds