“Chris, I want to talk about the role Fox News plays in this because it’s a problem,” Gillibrand said while answering a question from the audience. The audience member, Susan, had asked the New York Democrat about her position on abortion.
“I can tell you, before President Trump gave his State of the Union, Fox News talked about infanticide. Infanticide doesn’t exist … ” Gillibrand continued.
Wallace then stepped in to interrupt her saying, “Senator, I just want to say, we’ve brought you here for an hour. We are treating you very fairly. I understand that maybe to make your credentials with the Democrats, who are not appearing on Fox News, you’re going to attack us. I’m not sure … it’s frankly very polite when we’ve invited you to be here,” he added.
In response, Gillibrand said, “I’ll do it in a polite way.”
“Why don’t we … instead of talking about Fox News, why don’t you answer Susan’s question,” he said.
Instead of taking Wallace’s advice, Gillibrand continued to criticize the network, calling the debate surrounding abortion a “red herring.”
“What happens on Fox News is relevant because they talked about infanticide for 6.5 hours,” Gillibrand said. “Six-point-five hours, right before President Trump’s State of the Union, mentioned it 35 times.
“That is not the debate of what access to reproductive care is in this country. [Infanticide] doesn’t happen. It’s illegal, it’s not a fact. And I believe all of us have a responsibility to talk about the facts,” she added.
Gillibrand has made abortion rights the key issue of her 2020 campaign. She declared last month in a post on Medium that she would only nominate judges who would uphold the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.
“I will only nominate judges — including Supreme Court justices — who will commit to upholding Roe v. Wade as settled law and protect women’s reproductive rights,” she wrote.
The heated conversation between Gillibrand and Wallace comes weeks after two prominent Democratic candidates, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), said they were going to reject Fox News’ invitation to hold a town hall.
Warren took to social media to express her disdain for the network, describing it as a “hate-for-profit racket.”
Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists—it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life and death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 14, 2019
“Fox News has invited me to do a town hall, but I’m turning them down—here’s why … Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists—it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life & death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class,” she wrote as part of the series of tweets she posted on May 14.
Gillibrand is currently polling at an average of around 0.2 percent, according to Real Clear Politics.