Fox News hosts and contributors are again rallying to the Republican cause, this time in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District. Fox News' Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Dana Perino have boosted the campaign of GOP candidate Tim Burns with glowing publicity, fundraising pitches, and endorsements.
The Washington Post's Dave Weigel wrote that Fox News has given "glowing coverage" to Burns, who has used the conservative media to help him "out-fundraise Democratic candidate Mark Critz." The New Republic's Amy Crawford wrote that "volunteers have come from out of town after learning about Burns on conservative websites and from Fox News."
Weigel noted that "Hannity got an exclusive pre-election night interview with Burns [on May 17] in which he lobbed the candidate questions he didn't have to struggle to answer." On April 26, Tucker Carlson guest hosted for Hannity and interviewed Burns. At the conclusion of the softball segment, Burns said, "thanks for having me and if you want to help check my Web site out at www.timburnsforcongress.com." Carlson replied, "Amen."
Hannity's program isn't alone in boosting Burns' campaign:
- Contributor Newt Gingrich. Gingrich appeared at an April event in Latrobe for Burns, who he calls the "next Scott Brown." VIP tickets to the event cost $4,800 per person. Gingrich also touted Burns on Glenn Beck's radio program, Sean Hannity's April 23 Fox News program and the May 16 edition of Fox News Sunday. On Hannity, Gingrich said he "was in the true Pennsylvania last night with Tim Burns, who was a great young candidate" and criticized Burns' Democratic opponent. On FNS, Gingrich said that "Burns is probably going to win in Pennsylvania as a Republican, which is a very important special election." In his April 28 newsletter, Gingrich urged people "to donate to his campaign and find other ways" to "help" Burns. During the May 18 edition of Fox & Friends, Gingrich also touted Burns' campaign as one that "really matter[s]."
- Contributor Rick Santorum. Santorum's political action committee, America's Foundation, has donated $2,000 to Burns. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on April 18 that Santorum pitched Burns to tea partiers in Pennsylvania:
Speaking to a crowd of more than 1,000 tea party conservatives, Santorum, now with Fox News, implored his listeners to get involved in the campaign of Republican Tim Burns against Democrat Mark Critz for the seat in Congress left vacant by the death of John Murtha. 'This race is your moment,' Santorum said. 'This is your time to be a true patriot. I beg you to give that last measure of devotion. Get involved in that election.'
- Host and contributor Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin wrote an April 26 Facebook post in support of Burns. Palin wrote: "I'm proud to offer my support to Tim Burns in his campaign to bring real job creation to Pennsylvania's 12th district. Please join me in supporting his campaign. Visit Tim's website here, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter."
- Contributor Dana Perino. On the April 14 edition of Hannity, Perino praised Burns as an example of an "an interesting young conservative." Perino added: "There's a lot of new blood. A lot of good ideas and they are putting them forward."