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Pete Buttigieg headed for Fox News town hall

Buttigieg’s appearance on Fox, slated for May 19 in Claremont, N.H., follows Bernie Sanders.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg arrives for Dyngus Day Drive street renaming event on April 22, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana.Kamil Krzaczynski / AFP - Getty Images

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential candidate who is gaining in popularity, will appear on Fox News to try to connect with the network's right-leaning viewership.

The cable news channel confirmed Tuesday that Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will be the guest at a town hall hosted by Chris Wallace, who anchors “Fox News Sunday.”

Buttigieg’s appearance, slated for May 19 in Claremont, New Hampshire, follows a Fox News town hall with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is scheduled for May 8 in Milwaukee.

“We’ve said from the beginning of this campaign that Pete will talk to every audience and meet voters where they are," Lis Smith, a communications adviser to Buttigieg, said in a statement. "For Democrats to win back the White House, we can’t just retreat to our safe spaces, we need to aggressively make our case everywhere — that’s exactly what Pete is doing.”

Buttigieg has already shown a willingness to embrace Fox News despite some efforts from Democratic groups and activist organizations to stonewall the channel over its perceived ties to the Trump administration.

Buttigieg appeared on "Fox News Sunday" in March and told Wallace in an interview that while he stood for progressive values, he had worked to gain support from Republicans and independents in South Bend.

Fox News is still discussing possible events with other Democratic presidential candidates, including Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and HUD secretary, and Reps. Eric Swalwell of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio.

The Democratic National Committee has said it will not partner with Fox News to broadcast a candidate debate, but it does not take issue with candidates choosing to appear on the channel by themselves.

“While the DNC does not believe that FOX is equipped to be a partner for a 2020 debate because of concerns of fairness at the highest levels within their organization, the DNC believes that we must reach all voters, including their audience," a DNC spokesperson said in an email. "Therefore, candidates should do what they need to do in order to engage these voters directly.”

A Fox News spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the company is happy that the DNC sees the upside in candidates' appearances.

“We’re pleased that the DNC agrees with FOX News that successful Democratic presidential candidates must engage directly with our large, diverse audience through televised town halls with top-notch journalists Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum and Chris Wallace," the spokesperson said.

The Fox News town hall with Sanders led to criticism from President Donald Trump, who suggested that the event was stuffed with Sanders supporters.

"What's with Fox News?" Trump tweeted.