Some of Fox News’ most influential commentators are misconstruing recent remarks from Vice President Kamala Harris and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, falsely claiming that the Biden administration is preparing for “war” against the Republican Party as Fox continues to push the fallacy that conservatives are being persecuted.
Fox News has relentlessly attacked Harris since she joined President Joe Biden’s ticket in 2020. In addition to a constant stream of racist and sexist remarks, the network has waged a war of manufactured outrage against Harris, either by claiming she was laughing at gas prices — when in reality she was just laughing at a meme — or by inexplicably blaming the vice president for Russia’s violent escalations against Ukraine.
During the September 11 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Harris, “We are now as a nation battling a threat from within. Is the threat equal or greater than what we faced after 9/11?” Harris replied that she had taken an oath to “defend and uphold our constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic” and that “we don’t compare the two in the oath, but we know they both can exist.” Harris also noted that she wished that domestic threats were not filtered through “some partisan lens,” but notably did not say domestic threats were more dangerous than the threat of terrorism during and after 9/11.
Similarly, during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on September 11, Clinton reflected on “how important it is to try to deal with extremism of any kind, especially when it uses violence to try to achieve political and ideological goals.” (The network’s obsession with Clinton is well-documented.)
It didn’t take long for Fox News to latch on to the narrative that Harris, Clinton, and the Democratic Party writ-large had issued a “declaration of war” against MAGA Republicans.
- During his prime-time show on Fox, Jesse Watters falsely claimed that the “Biden White House used this day to politicize the worst terrorist attack in American history and declare war on you.” He then baselessly characterized Harris’ vow to “defend against all enemies foreign and domestic” as a “declaration of war,” saying, “Make no mistake, the Democratic Party, the media, and obviously the FBI have designated the Republican Party as a terrorist group.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 9/12/22]
- Tulsi Gabbard claimed that the Biden administration and the Democratic Party are “pushing our country to the brink of civil war.” Gabbard also claimed that Harris and others were “demonizing, targeting our fellow Americans as worse than Al-Qaeda terrorists” as a ploy to “hold on to their power.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 9/12/22]
- Fox host Tucker Carlson claimed that Harris’ comments about defending the constitution against domestic enemies amounted to a declaration of war against “you and anyone else in the way of the Biden administration.” Carlson also referred to the January 6 insurrection as an “election injustice protest” and called Todd a “freaking lunatic” for suggesting the United States has a “threat within.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 9/12/22]
- On Hannity, former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed that Clinton had compared Republicans to terrorists during her appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. “Drawing a comparison between American citizens and the heinous monsters who committed one of the most evil acts in our country's history. That is despicable,” McEnany said. [Fox News, Hannity, 9/12/22]