Fox News host Bret Baier on Tuesday defended the network's decision to air former President Barack Obama's campaign speech amid criticism from President Donald Trump. Obama had delivered a speech from Orlando, Florida, voicing his support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and had offered a condemnation of the current sitting president. The speech had been broadcast live on Fox News, which also carried campaign speeches from Trump and Biden that same day.
After taking notice of the broadcast, however, Trump took to Twitter to slam the network, writing that "the biggest difference between now and 2016 is [Fox News]" is that "they are a whole different deal." The president added that despite this difference, his campaign "is doing much better, with bigger crowds and even more (much!) enthusiasm" than it had in 2016.
Before Baier went off the air Tuesday evening, the Special Report anchor pushed back against the president's condemnation, pointing out that Fox News broadcast speeches from Trump, Biden and Obama. He said that "it's what we do to cover an important election fairly." Beginning his address by noting that viewers had been watching Trump's Salem, Wisconsin, campaign speech for "almost 42 minutes," Baier said that Fox News also "brought you his speech in Lansing, Michigan, live earlier today." The president has been holding several rallies each day in a final push ahead of the election.
"We also brought you live speeches from Joe Biden in both Warm Springs and Atlanta, Georgia, and former President Obama's speech in Orlando, Florida. All of those carried live on Fox News Channel earlier today," he added, according to The Hill. "It's what we do to cover an important election fairly. Fair, balanced and unafraid. We are seven days from election night. We promise we are going to cover it all fairly and get in the news around the world in between the fast-moving political developments."
The outlet notes that Fox News was the only major network to carry the speeches from Trump, Biden and Obama live. Trump, meanwhile, has not issued a response to Baier, though he did take to Twitter to boast about the crowd size at his campaign rallies in comparison to those at the rallies held by Biden and Obama. Many Twitter users noted, however, that Biden and Obama have been enforcing stricter guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.