Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a 2020 presidential hopeful, recently spoke at a town hall hosted by Fox News’ Chris Wallace that involved a heated exchange in which Wallace implied the candidate wasn’t very polite toward the network.
On Monday, Gillibrand’s campaign released a new piece of merchandise that capitalized on the talked-about moment — a canvas tote bag that reads, “Frankly, not very polite” across the front.
According to The Hill, the fiery moment happened after the senator took a jab at Fox News while answering a question from a retired neonatal nurse on the subject of third-trimester abortion.
“What we’ve created, unfortunately, is a false choice and a false narrative. And Chris I want to talk about the role Fox News plays in this because it’s a problem. I can tell you before President Trump gave his State of the Union, Fox News talked about infanticide. Infanticide doesn’t exist,” Gillibrand said while looking directly at Wallace.
Wallace didn’t take kindly to the senator’s criticism of the network and responded with criticism of his own.
“I just want to say, we brought you here, gave you an hour, we’re treating you 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,” he said. ” I’m not sure, it’s frankly very polite when we’ve invited you to be here.”
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 3, 2019
Following Wallace’s response and his request that she answer questions instead of attacking Fox News, Gillibrand said she’d “do it in a polite way.”
She went on to explain that what’s said on Fox News is relevant, citing the network’s mention of infanticide 35 times leading up to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in January.
“That’s not what the debate of what access to care is about in this country. It doesn’t happen, it’s illegal, it’s not a fact. And I believe all of us have a responsibility to talk about facts,” Gillibrand said.
Headlines generated by Gillibrand’s exchange with Wallace come at a much-needed time. The 2020 hopeful, so far, has failed to gain traction in the national polls. Current RealClearPolitics polling data shows the candidate in last place, at.20 percent.
WOW. Chris Wallace tried to SILENCE Kirsten Gillibrand's criticism of Fox News and she was NOT having it. pic.twitter.com/eKiikx6dOw
— Tommy Xtophernobyl (@tommyxtopher) June 3, 2019
Gillibrand is the fourth Democratic presidential candidate to appear in a town hall hosted by the conservative-leaning network. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg have all taken part in a Fox News town hall.
According to The Hill, Buttigieg’s Fox News town hall was watched by 1.1 million viewers, giving the network the top spot in ratings for that time slot.