President Trump on Friday renewed his attacks on Fox News and Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto, charging he “has very bad ratings” while speculating whether Cavuto “will get the same treatment” as former network anchor Shepard Smith, who abruptly left the network in October.
“So @TeamCavuto has very bad ratings on @foxnews with his Fake guests like A.B.Stoddard and others that still haven’t figured it all out,” Trump tweeted.
So @TeamCavuto has very bad ratings on @foxnews with his Fake guests like A.B.Stoddard and others that still haven’t figured it all out. Will he get the same treatment as his friend Shepherd Smith, who also suffered from the ratings drought?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2020
A.B. Stoddard, an editor and columnist at RealClearPolitics and formerly of The Hill, appears to have set the president off earlier this week by comparing former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s universally panned performance in Wednesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate to some of Trump’s own in 2016.
“I think that Donald Trump had disastrous debate performances,” Stoddard told Cavuto following the Nevada debate. “Many answers were so cringeworthy, you just couldn’t even believe he was still standing on the stage.”
Trump tweeted in response that he “won every one” of the debates, and also went after Cavuto at a Thursday evening campaign rally.
Could somebody at @foxnews please explain to Trump hater A.B. Stoddard (zero talent!) and @TeamCavuto, that I won every one of my debates, from beginning to end. Check the polls taken immediately after the debates. The debates got me elected. Must be Fox Board Member Paul Ryan!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020
The Twitter salvo comes as Fox News anchors Ed Henry and Trish Regan, along with network contributor Richard Fowler, were among those who publicly defended Cavuto.
Henry called Cavuto “an outstanding man” and “an outstanding journalist” while standing up for him on the air, and Regan said she was disappointed in Trump for the remarks, adding that Cavuto deserves better treatment.
Trump has done more than 60 interviews on Fox News and Fox Business since taking office in 2017 while regularly declining interviews on a number of other networks.
The former real estate mogul has not done any interviews with CNN or MSNBC since August and May of 2016, respectively.
Cavuto’s ratings improved considerably in 2019, with “Your World with Neil Cavuto” averaging 1.7 million total viewers in the 4 p.m. slot, a 15 percent rise from the previous year and topping his CNN and MSNBC rivals. The program also averaged 282,000 viewers in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers seek to reach, marking a 13 percent increase from 2018.