Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, in the midst of a Fox News town hall event on Sunday, took Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham to task.
But first, the out politician acknowledged during the broadcast with host Chris Wallace that he faced criticism for appearing on the right-wing network.
"You know a lot of people in my party were critical of me even doing this with Fox News," Buttigieg said.
"I've heard that," said Wallace, eliciting laughs from the crowd.
But then, Buttigieg laid into some of Wallace's co-workers.
"I get where that's coming from, especially when you see what's going on with some of the opinion hosts on this network," Buttigieg said.
"When you've got Tucker Carlson saying that immigrants make America dirty, when you've got Laura Ingraham comparing detention centers with children in cages to summer camps -- summer camps! -- then there is a reason why anybody has to swallow hard and think twice about participating in this media ecosystem."
However, Buttigieg defended his appearance on the network by arguing that one has to find voters where they are.
"Even though some of those hosts are not always there in good faith, I also believe there are a lot who tune in to this network who do, do it in good faith," said Buttigieg, who sent a similar message to supporters in an email prior to the town hall.
"I strongly condemn the voices on Fox and in the media which uncritically amplify hate and the divisive sort of politics which gave rise to this presidency," Buttigieg stated in the email. "Their goal is to spread fear and lies, not serve as honest brokers with the American people."
"But just became many of these opinion hosts don't operate in good faith, it doesn't mean there aren't Fox viewers tuning in in good faith," he continued. "If we ignore the viewers of Fox News and every news platform that doesn't share our worldview, we will surrender our ability to speak directly to millions of American voters."
At the town hall, Wallace also asked Buttigieg, who would be America's first openly gay president, if "America is ready for a gay president with a husband?"
"I do," Buttigieg responded, and recounted his own military service and the experience of coming out after returning home.
He said it's important to be out as he seeks the highest office in the land.
"At the end of the day, it's worth trusting voters with that choice and that they evaluate you for who you really are," he said.
During the event, Buttigieg pushed back on conservative framing on abortion and defended the "natural right" of women to choose if and when to get an abortion.
"I trust women to draw the line," he said when questioned about late-term abortions, which make up less than one percent of abortions.
The former Naval Reserve intelligence officer also criticized President Donald Trump for reportedly considering a pardon of war criminals.
"The flag I wore on my shoulder represented a country that was known for keeping its word," he said. "But with the president considering pardoning war criminals even after they have been tried by a jury of their peers, that is undermining American moral authority and putting troops at risk."
The Democrat ultimately got a standing ovation at the end of the town hall event.
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