The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Ted Cruz campaign: Fox News’s ‘O’Reilly Factor’ is ‘great to work with’

(AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, file)

Every week or so, cable news programs should air a list of all the public figures who’ve turned down their interview requests. It’s always interesting to know who doesn’t want to talk to whom.

On his program last night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly revealed that his people had been trying to secure an interview with Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican presidential candidate who is fighting it out with Donald Trump in advance of the Iowa caucuses. “We’ve been trying to get Sen. Cruz on for weeks…and we’ll keep trying,” O’Reilly said.

That declaration came in response to a viewer who asked, “Bill, I know you’ll never respond to this, but another [Donald] Trump interview, really?” Therewith a reference to the numerous interviews that O’Reilly has done with the real-estate mogul, who is a sports-watching buddy of the King of Cable News.

If there’s any concern in the Cruz campaign over O’Reilly’s relationship with archrival Trump, it’s not avowing it. In response to a question from the Erik Wemple Blog as to whether there’s any particular reason why Cruz hasn’t gone on “The Factor,” campaign communications director Rick Tyler responded, “No. None at all. Ted has been working hard on the campaign trail going non-stop especially in Iowa and New Hampshire. We just did a 28-country bus tour in Iowa and a similar 4-days in New Hampshire. I realize that other candidates who don’t spend as much time meeting face to face with voters are easier to schedule for television interviews but our priority has been to spend time with voters. The folks at The O’Reilly Factor are great to work with and we appreciate all they do and we do hope to get him on very soon.”

Hmmm, wonder which candidates are easier to schedule for TV interviews?

Cruz has appeared on “Hannity” and other Fox News programs of late. In preparation for the upcoming primaries, the “O’Reilly Factor” would be a wise stop for this anti-establishment candidate; a Pew study from 2012 found that O’Reilly’s audience is 69 percent conservative (16 percent moderate and eight percent liberal), a breakdown similar to Rush Limbaugh’s. Nor does it hurt that “The Factor” is the No. 1-rated program on cable news.

(H/T CNN Money)