A Fox News primary?
March 1st, 2011
10:48 AM ET
7 years ago

A Fox News primary?

(CNN) – As the 2012 primary season begins to take shape, political observers are beginning to wonder whether the four potential candidates who work as commentators for Fox News will forgo their large paychecks to run for the nomination.

On Monday's edition of John King, USA, Chief National Correspondent John King laid out the stakes: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum all serve as contributors for the network. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also hosts a weekend show there.

Gingrich has acted as a contributor on Fox since 1999, while Santorum joined the network in 2007. Palin began contributing to Fox in 2010, and Huckabee has been on the air since 2008.

All four would be likely be required to step down at Fox if they ran for the presidential nomination pursuant to Federal Election Commission regulations, which would mean giving up salaries (some of which may top the $1 million-dollar mark) and an established platform to reach a large audience of Americans.

For some of the candidates, like Huckabee, the Fox salary constitutes a large bulk of their income. Others, like Sarah Palin, rely additionally on paid speaking appearances.

CNN Political Contributor Cornell Belcher, also a Democratic consultant, said the platform the Fox News' jobs provide helps the Republican candidates establish themselves before a supportive audience.

"I've got to tell you, Fox is more supportive of Republican candidates than the Republican National Committee," Belcher said. "They're bankrolling this."

Earlier this month, Huckabee defended the Fox News arrangement in an interview with CNN.

"The one thing about Fox that people miss is that there really is this big wall between the news guys and the program guys," Huckabee told King. "I mean I'm on the program side, I don't pretend to be objective. I'm not. But I would say our news guys, they're objective."

Filed under: John King USA • Mike Huckabee • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum • Sarah Palin
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. duh

    ...the Fox News Party.....what a shocker....

    March 1, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. A keen observer

    What a line up of nobodys! Is this the best the right wing whakos can come up with?

    March 1, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. james Miller

    What better credentials to be POTUS than a former Fox News commentator unless perhaps if you were a sanitation worker.

    March 1, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Dan from Tx

    "I mean I'm on the program side, I don't pretend to be objective. I'm not. But I would say our news guys, they're objective."

    Of course you would say that. You are paid to say that.

    March 1, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. PalmReader

    Ah, yes . . . FOX News. The propaganda machine that keeps on ticking, lie after lie. You can take it to the bank that ANY candidate associated with FOX will not become President of the United States. Why on earth any American is interested in allowing an Aussie egomaniac, funded by a Saudi Arabian prince, to brainwash them to the extent FOX News brainwashes, is incomprehensible . . . especially when these FOX viewers are so hell bent on wrapping themselves in the American Flag and calling themselves true PATRIOTICS. I can't see any instance where either Rupert Murdoch or a Saudi prince ought to be considered a viable American voice, yet both are continually given the red light in influencing not only our politics, but our politicians as well, through their ownership of FOX News.

    March 1, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    First, they should all consider staying with Fox, because none are the candidate we need as President.

    Second, there is no media network, that keeps bias out of the news, and none that do not tend to favor one political party more than another.

    For the critics of Fox......you need to examine the other networks......as they do the same, but perhaps more blatantly for the Dems, vs. the GOP. It seems integrity is no longer part of the news arena. Blatant influence over public opinion, is being employed to sway people, by every single network, bar none.

    March 1, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Glenn

    Fair and balanced. Whatever.

    March 1, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Zman

    You mean to tell me that Fox is paying these people? How many more are in Fox's pockets?

    March 1, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Bryan Sciver

    Once I was a big fan of Newt. There was a large group of us who I got burned by one of his swindles.

    On the lighter side, he has spent time misguiding people in other ways. He doesn't seem to do much except muck up the works with his murky approach on our global environment. He doesn't seem to know the truth. He is brain dead. In his book A Contract with the Earth he really shows how clueless he is.

    Obviously he isn't as brain dead as Sarah Palin but we need Republican Leaders, Tea Party Leaders and Democratic Party Leaders not gauged on the moronic human garbage meter.

    March 1, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Biggge

    Stay strong Wisconsin, the GOP IS GOING CRAZY.. After Union, women rights , middle class workforce, I have not read one thing the Govern or the GOP leadership that has ask the wealthy to contribute to the budget issue.... We have to hold these guys accountable.... Also check the story on the GOP assult on Planned Parenthood and abortion rights, there is a assult on women rights going on in America.....

    March 1, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. ST

    "observers are beginning to wonder whether the four potential candidates who work as commentators for Fox News will forgo their large paychecks to run for the nomination."

    What a big test!!! The likelihood of losing both is obvious.

    March 1, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Bob

    The others are bad enough, but to think for one second that little Ricky has any chance is silly.

    March 1, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. edwnc

    If only I didn't have a brain and conscience. It seems that if i'm able to empty both and replace them with raw hatred and misinformation, I too can get a fat paycheck working for Faux News!

    March 1, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Emerson

    Let's see which of these civic minded "leaders" wants to be a "public servant" rather than a political prostitute taikng cheap shots from the sidelines.

    March 1, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Duck Fallas

    Hee hee, Santorum.

    March 1, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Jon

    Why not? The Republican Party basically already works for Fox News. Might as well make it official.

    March 1, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Marc

    Wait, I thought Fox News was "fair and balanced"? They have four potential Republican presidential candidates on their payroll, it's as slanted to the right as far as possible. The people who watch Fox News, and believe what they are saying, are weak minded.

    March 1, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The bottom line is these Republicans don't want to give up their Fox paid salaries because it affords them $million dollar homes and healthcare. In other words, they will run if America just hands over the presidency to them which will secure the future for them and their family. It's called family values people.

    March 1, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Gaylon Barrow

    Anyone of these four has so much more class than Obama they would win by a landslide. Have you noticed that anyone against the brainless wonder is a racist. Ever though on that one who really are the racist. I don't dislike Obama for being half African American. I don't dislike the man. I dislike his inexperience which he has none. Nil, zero and it's showing.

    March 1, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Randy, San Francisco

    So much for fair and balance news reporting ...FOX doesn't even try to hide the fact that it is bank rolling GOP presidential candidates.

    March 1, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. ja

    save your money and time or hire someone to give the answers you want, your glory days are over, is there something else you can do

    March 1, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Cfrench

    FOX is the RNC! They're one in the same. FOX no longer seeks to distance itself from its obvious slant to the right. They've got their ratings, they've got their revenue. Fair and balanced be damned.

    March 1, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. carrotroot

    To put it frankly, what FOX News is doing is borderline illegal. It's no secret these guys are already running for President, they all constantly visiting Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early swing states. They are all just waiting till the last minute to make their official announcements. But in the meanwhile they get are unofficially getting paid to campaign.

    March 1, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. HeyHey

    Yeah right, a Republican turning down money. The trick will be for them to still run but still be on the Fox payroll.

    March 1, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. Seriously?

    They should keep their day jobs. None are qualified to be POTUS and none would get elected. I think now that the people (especially in Wisconsin) have had an up-close personal look at their extreme right-wing newly elected Governor, the Democrats should have no problem taking the 2012 elections by storm.

    Keep voting in these extremist, and you will get what you asked for. Just as the Educators in Wisconsin. . . .

    March 1, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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