Update (6/9/20): This piece has been updated with additional examples.
Some Fox News personalities are lashing out over a report that a few prominent Republicans including former President George W. Bush, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney won’t be supporting President Donald Trump’s reelection.
The New York Times reported on June 6 that “Bush won’t support the re-election of Mr. Trump, and Jeb Bush isn’t sure how he’ll vote,” though a spokesperson for the former president told The Texas Tribune that the report was wrong and Bush “has not indicated how he will vote.” The Times added that Romney, a former Republican presidential nominee, “won’t back Mr. Trump and is deliberating whether to again write in his wife, Ann, or cast another ballot this November.” The report also stated that Cindy McCain, the widow of former Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, “is almost certain to support" presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. And on June 7, Powell told CNN’s Jake Tapper he will be supporting Biden for president, saying he “certainly cannot in any way support President Trump this year.”
Fox figures began lashing out on Sunday and continued into Monday.
- Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth ranted about “the arrogance of these so-called Republicans” for refusing to back Trump.
- On the same program, Fox contributor and former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said he’s “going to be livid” if those Republicans oppose Trump, and he said they should “get over it” if they “don’t like his personality.”
- On Sunday Morning Futures, frequent Fox guest Rudy Giuliani told the Bushes to “get over your anger and think about the country.”
- Fox host Mark Levin called Jake Tapper a “media jerk” for asking Powell who he’ll support for president.
- Fox contributor and former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said on Fox & Friends that Powell’s explanation for his support of Biden “told you everything you needed to know about the so-called deep state.” (The “deep state” narrative is a bogus right-wing conspiracy theory.)
- Later on the same program, Fox contributor Tammy Bruce went on an extended rant about what these Republicans’ positions mean, saying they are supporting a “war on the police of this nation.”
- On June 8, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs dismissed these Republican politicians as “RINOs.”