After Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro had a town hall on Fox News, Fox & Friends attacked him and misrepresented his policies the following morning.
On June 14, Castro held a town hall on Fox hosted by anchors Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier. The following morning, the hosts of Fox & Friends dutifully began to distort his positions and attack him personally. Co-host Brian Kilmeade hit Castro for “not generating almost any momentum in the polls” before lying that he is “basically for wide-open borders.” Kilmeade then insisted that Castro “goes back in time to 1929” in reference to an immigration policy he mentioned, even though Castro explicitly explained that the policy he was referring to was in place from 1929 up until 2004. Fox & Friends also showed clips that cut Castro off in the middle of his sentences, not allowing for his full policy explanations to be aired.
Fox’s reaction is unsurprising and follows a pattern the network has established of hosting Democratic presidential candidates for town halls and then spending the following day twisting the candidate’s positions, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). As Media Matters' Matt Gertz pointed out after Buttigieg's town hall, "the town hall does not exists in a vacuum; Fox is a right-wing propaganda machine that constantly pushes disinformation in order to damage progressives and help conservatives. And within hours ... the network began smearing Buttigieg in an effort that will likely minimize any gains he might have made with its viewers.
From the June 14 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Julián Castro is not generating almost any momentum in the polls, former HUD secretary. And when it comes to the border, he is basically for wide-open borders, and he goes back in time to 1929 when he says, “We never use to criminalize people who came here illegally,” and then he blames the president for what is going wrong at the border, not he, his party, and others for not doing anything about the asylum rules that is causing chaos at the borders.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): He said crisis isn't at the border, it's in the White House. Listen.
MARTHA MACCALLUM (FOX NEWS ANCHOR): You’ve said that you believe that entering the country illegally should not be a federal crime. At what point is a crime committed in this process?
JULIÀN CASTRO (DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE): From 1929 until about 2004, the United States did not enforce somebody crossing the border as a criminal violation. We enforced it, basically, as a civil violation. And it was after we started enforcing it as a criminal violation that a lot of the problems that we see today -- when that started happening. So I’ve said there is a better way to do this.
MACCALLUM: Does everyone get in, or who doesn’t get in?
CASTRO: Some people have said, for instance, they say, “Are Democrats for open border?” We have at our border 654 miles of fencing, we have thousands of personnel --
BRET BAIER (FOX NEWS ANCHOR): Do you think it’s a crisis?
CASTRO: I think it’s a crisis of leadership.
KILMEADE: You’ve got to be kidding. 144,000 last month. Meanwhile, some movement in committee yesterday in the Senate side. It looks like [Sen.] Dick Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham might be working together because they both realize that this thing at the border, you don't need comprehensive reform, you need some asylum fixes, and they might be pushing something forward.