On Monday night, Fox News aired a town hall with Bernie Sanders, a front-runner in the 2020 Democratic primaries. The self-described “democratic socialist” took a risk appearing on the populist-right network. It paid off.
Overall, the senator from Vermont set forth several of his platform’s most popular planks, avoided gaffes, and answered almost every question to audience applause.
Three moments were especially striking. First, Sanders was touting Medicare for all when the Fox News moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum asked the audience members to raise a hand if they currently receive health insurance from an employer. Many hands went up. And by a show of hands, how many would be willing to switch to the health-care system that Sanders was proposing instead? Almost everyone appeared to raise a hand again—a result that seemed to surprise the moderators, who had already told viewers that the group in the auditorium was ideologically diverse.
Second, Sanders used the town hall to address President Donald Trump directly, urging him to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen per a resolution that both houses of Congress have passed. “Sign that resolution,” Sanders challenged. “Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”