Himes (D): DNC Made Wrong Decision Excluding Fox News From Debates

March 11, 2019

Rep. Jim Himes (D., Conn.) said Monday he disagrees with the Democratic National Committee's decision to exclude Fox News from moderating any of the debates during the Democratic primary.

"Well, with all due respect to the DNC, no, I don't think it was the right decision," Himes told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on New Day.

Last week, the DNC chairman Tom Perez announced that Fox News wouldn't be a media partner for a 2020 Democratic primary debate. They cited The New Yorker report which described a close relationship between the Trump administration and Fox. That article has come under scrutiny for alleged factual inaccuracies, although Himes said he doesn't trust Fox News but merely wants to reach its "millions and millions" of viewers.

"You know, look, it's no surprise to anybody, including to Fox News watchers, that Fox is largely an instrument of the right wing, of the Republican Party. It's a propaganda arm for the White House," Himes said. "However, and the reason I go on Fox, is that it's watched by millions and millions of Americans."

He argued Democratic ideas of universal health care and "making it easier for kids to go to college" are better than "whatever the nonsense is on the other side."

"So I would have made a different decision, with all due respect to the DNC," Himes added.

"Since you believe it's a propaganda arm for the White House, but you're trying to get your ideas out there and you think that you need to speak to the Fox audience, have you ever seen your interviews move the needle?" Camerota asked.

"I go on Tucker Carlson, I go on Fox & Friends, it can get uncomfortable because when they don't like where you're going they cut you off, they go somewhere else, they throw a lot of the nonsense out there. But a debate is a very highly structured moment, right? It is in some senses fair. It's not like, you know, Sean Hannity can jump in and challenge Bernie Sanders. So, again, with all due respect to the DNC, that's a huge audience," Himes responded. "As they say, you don't need to persuade your friends, you need to persuade people who disagree with you."