The three Fox & Friends cohosts were in for a rude awakening Sunday when they tried to coopt Martin O’Malley into attacking Hillary Clinton and the “rigged” process that got her nominated. Instead, O’Malley shredded Donald Trump so thoroughly that the cohosts were obviously dumbfounded and flummoxed.
I’ve long said that the key to being a Democratic or liberal guest on Fox is to reframe the discussion your way and to stay on offense. O’Malley was a textbook case in how to do it. And, by the way, this was not the first time he aced a Fox appearance.
The segment was clearly designed to do Trump a solid by suggesting that a Wikileaks release shows that O’Malley is at least partly on the same “rigged election” page as the Friends' guy, Trump.
First, we saw an excerpt of a February, 2016 email from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta asking for former Democratic presidential candidate O’Malley’s support. Then we saw an excerpt of O’Malley’s response: “Americans feel their own politicians have rigged the economic opportunity game against them.”
“Your email sounds a lot like it could have been written by someone like Donald Trump,” cohost Pete Hegseth started hopefully. “What led you to write that and why does that draw you to Hillary Clinton?”
O’Malley took control from his first answer.
“All of us” were talking during the primary about how “the system was not serving people in our country as it once did,” O’Malley began. He quickly added that the solutions for that are the ones that Hillary Clinton is offering. He named “a return to common-sense wage and labor policies” and “affordable college” as two examples. His third example started in on Trump: “Making sure those at the very top, like Donald Trump, actually start paying taxes again and paying their fair share to invest in our country.”
Cohost Tucker Carlson tried his hand at using O’Malley to smear Clinton. “Isn’t Hillary Clinton, herself, the embodiment of the system you’re decrying?” Carlson asked. He was referring to the fact that she and her husband have gotten very wealthy from their connections to power.