Bernie rocks the audience at Fox News town hall

Bernie Sanders spoke at a town hall sponsored by Fox News. More than 2.5 million viewers watched the event, the largest audience for any of the town halls held so far. You would think that the audience at an event sponsored by the cable news channel that is a fervent supporter of Trump and held in an area that voted strongly for Trump would be unsympathetic to Sanders’s message but it turns out that they responded well.

Appearing at a Fox News-hosted town hall, smack in the middle of Trump Country, the Democratic presidential front-runner played the part, swatting down tough questions from the hosts about health care, defense spending and his newfound wealth. At one point, the Vermont senator even led the network’s audience in a call-and-response that found them cheering loudly for his policies.

One of the most surprising moments of the town hall occurred when Baier asked the members of the audience to raise their hands if they received health insurance through an employer. Most indicated they did. Then he asked how many would be willing to switch to Sanders‘ plan, and most people appeared to raise their hands again.

Sanders also was asked by an audience member how he would challenge the idea that “socialism is bad.”

He replied with familiar talking points: “Democratic socialism to me is creating a government and an economy and a society which works for all, rather than just the top 1 percent. It means ending the absurd inequalities that exist today.”

Feisty and confident, Sanders ended the engagement by gently ribbing the hosts of the network liberals despise. “Thank you very much,” he told Baier and MacCallum, “and I hope I wasn’t too hard on you.”

I am not sure how the author of this piece knew that the audience was packed with Sanders supporters and was not just a regular sample of the local population.

Here is the enthusiastic audience response to the question about whether they would prefer to be insured under a Medicare For All plan.


  1. jrkrideau says

    As a Canadian, the very thought of a private health system is almost incomprehensible.

  2. Jenora Feuer says

    Though the Canadian system isn’t much more than fifty years old. Tommy Douglas’ Medicare plan was enacted in Saskatchewan in 1962 (by Douglas’ successor after he had stepped down) and the federal plan was championed by Diefenbaker (Progressive conservative from Saskatchewan) and then enacted by Pearson (Liberal) in 1966. Despite fighting from the medical establishment of the time, it had pretty broad political support in Canada.

    (The Wikipedia page at has a fair bit of detail, including that a lot of his support for Medicare likely came because, as a boy, Douglas would have likely lost his leg if an orthopaedic surgeon hadn’t offered to treat him for free as long as he could let his students observe.)

    But yeah, part of the reason the fight against ‘Obamacare’ was so strong to start with, was the worry by a lot of people that if it got in and people got used to it, rolling it back would be wildly unpopular as many people would lose access to insurance again. This Town Hall is just more proof that the early worries were right.

  3. mnb0 says

    Great. Populistic propaganda for Sanders.
    Dutch creationists rock their audiences as well as long as they don’t leave the (Dutch) Bible Belt.
    Why should I be impressed?

  4. Mano Singham says

    Jeff @#3,

    Thanks for that link to the final moments of the town hall. I agree that it was a good way to end that session.

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