On Monday, Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders journeyed into "Trump country," appearing at a town hall event hosted by Fox News, a scene that inspired a strong response from one of the network's biggest fans. On Tuesday, President Trump not only unloaded on Sanders, but he also took a few shots at Fox for how the network and hosts handled the town hall.
Trump's first tweet expressed how "weird" seeing Bernie on Fox was for him. "So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews," he wrote (tweets below). "Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the 'audience' was so smiley and nice. Very strange, and now we have @donnabrazile?"
A few hours later, Trump hit the "audience" theme again, this time citing "big complaints" that Trump fans were blocked out of the event while it was "stuffed with Bernie supporters."
"Many Trump Fans & Signs were outside of the @FoxNews Studio last night in the now thriving (Thank you President Trump) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the interview with Crazy Bernie Sanders," Trump wrote. "Big complaints about not being let in-stuffed with Bernie supporters. What’s with @FoxNews?"
In an article on the town hall, The Morning Call reported that Fox "reached out to various political and local groups in the area and mined requests to attend after it publicly announced the event." The event was attended not only by Bernie supporters, but Trump supporters and independent voters as well.
The president then took aim at Sanders over his taxes, a topic that came up in the often combative town hall.
"Bernie Sanders and wife should pay the Pre-Trump Taxes on their almost $600,000 in income," said Trump. "He is always complaining about these big TAX CUTS, except when it benefits him. They made a fortune off of Trump, but so did everyone else — and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing!"
In a follow-up tweet, Trump predicted that, in the end, the Democratic nomination will come down to "Crazy Bernie Sanders" and former Vice President "Sleepy Joe Biden" — and suggested that he's not worried either way.
"I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country (and MANY other great things)! I look forward to facing whoever it may be. May God Rest Their Soul!" he wrote.
In its coverage of its Sanders town hall, Fox News drew attention to the audience's sympathy with the democratic socialist, noting that the crowd was "clearly supportive of Sanders throughout." One moment that got a lot of attention online was the crowd's enthusiastic response to Sanders "Medicare For All" proposal, which has been estimated to potentially cost $32 trillion over 10 years:
The back and forth over Sanders' income and taxes during the town hall also made headlines. As The Daily Wire reported, Sanders' tax returns showed that he and his wife "made over a million dollars in both 2016 and 2017 and over a half-million in 2018, when he paid an effective tax rate of 26%."
Asked by Baier why he didn't voluntarily give the government more in taxes in light of his wealth tax proposal, Sanders scoffed, "Pfft … come on … I am, I paid the taxes that I owe ... Why don’t you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes?"
When co-host Martha MacCallum pressed again, asking if Sanders would voluntarily "pay 52% on the money that you made," he responded, "You can volunteer too. Martha, why don’t you give? You make more money than I do."
"I didn’t suggest a wealth tax," said MacCallum, Baier adding, "And she’s not running for president."
Trump's tweets below: