As 2020 looms, FOX News Channel's host of the Ingraham Angle, Laura Ingraham, is meeting with voters for a televised town hall this Friday in Chicago to find out what issues matter to them most. She chatted with us on the eve of the event (airing this Friday on FOX News Channel at 10 p.m. EST), and fielded questions on everything from Trump and Bernie Sanders to the president's re-election campaign and the rumors she entertained the idea of becoming his press secretary.
You’re headed to Chicago this Friday to host a FOX town hall. Tell me why the Windy City was the place you wanted to have a discussion with voters.
LAURA INGRAHAM: We chose Chicago because its poorest residents deserve better than they’ve gotten from its political leadership. Gang violence, unsolved crimes, distrust of law enforcement and low morale in the police force have plagued the most underprivileged areas of the city. Yet most major media are ignoring the plight of this great city, perhaps because the facts don’t advance any particular political agenda. We hope to give voice to both those who are hurting and helping.
How do you think the divide between the news media and the White House is impacting the mood of voters and the decision-making process of the president?
LI: While it’s true that a lot of folks just want things to calm down in politics, it’s also true that voters are a lot savvier than most in the media and political establishment think they are. Whatever troubles President Trump has with approval numbers, the media’s problems are a lot bigger. The public understands that with rare exception, the “objective” media is anything but. In the end, they’ll judge Trump more on results than on rhetoric (his or theirs).
Is there anything the president has done that has alarmed or bothered you?
LI: I think that no one in public office suffers from 100 percent infallibility. On numerous occasions I have contended that there’s no need for the president to swing at every pitch, to hit back at every criticism. While I understand the temptation, it’s just not productive and ends up obscuring the many positive results he’s delivered for the American people.
What warrants a second Trump term for you? And what issues do you think will define the 2020 election?
LI: Peace and prosperity. Our economy is the envy of the G-7. No other country comes close. This means real money in the pockets of Americans who work hard to support their family.
After the latest round of democratic debates, is there anyone who is remotely satisfying to watch for you?
LI: I find Andrew Yang to be the most interesting—he at least has real world business experience. A failed senate candidate, a mayor of a small Indiana city with its own problems, and a slew of other senators with frankly unimpressive track records… none strike me as plausible threats to the incumbent president at this time. But as we know, the electorate’s mood can turn sour fairly quickly if the economy for whatever reason spirals downward.
There was a recent Fox News poll that came out last week that showed the president behind several democratic frontrunners (Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren), but, despite that, who can the president beat and whom do you think he'll be facing in the general election?
LI: Not sure—but if I were a betting woman, I’d bet Warren. I think the president could beat all of them, but it’s not going to be a cakewalk. The Democrats are out for blood and they want power back in a bad way.
At one point, your name had allegedly been on the shortlist for press secretary—any truth to the rumor? And would you ever consider, should he get re-elected?
LI: Yes, my name was in the mix. I never say “never” about government service—but not sure what job would be the best fit at this point.
What's your advice for the president as he enters re-election season?
LI: Focus on lifting up the American people in all your remarks and interviews. Always “we” not “I” and “us” not “me.” Tout results and progress as the nation’s happy warrior. This provides a sharp contrast to the approach of the activist Democrat base, which often appears as angry and out of control. Smile and enjoy yourself, even during the most vicious and unfair attacks on your presidency, your family and our record.
Photography by: Photography courtesy FOX News