CNN Questions DNC's Decision To Block Fox News From Hosting Democratic Primary Debate, Rick Santorum Asks 'What Are They Afraid Of?'

Hours after the Democratic National Committee announced they would not allow Fox News to host a debate for the Democratic primary, CNN host Anderson Cooper questioned the wisdom of that decision.

During his show, Anderson Cooper 360, the journalist referenced a tweet from President Donald Trump.

"Democrats just blocked @FoxNews from holding a debate. Good, then I think I'll do the same thing with the Fake News Networks and the Radical Left Democrats in the General Election debates," Trump said.

Speaking to USA Today columnist Kristen Powers and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Cooper asked if the DNC's decision was a good idea.

"There are plenty of people who watch Fox News, and there are responsible journalists who could ask questions," Cooper said. "I mean, Chris Wallace is a tough interview, Bret Baier, I mean why....why....does this make sense to you that the DNC would do this?"

Powers responded to say she couldn't remember the last time Fox News had hosted a Democratic debate. "This has been a long-running problem that Fox has had with the Democratic party, they have viewed them as not a legitimate news organization and they haven't wanted to do debates with them," Powers said. "I think everything that Democrats used to say about Fox, which I don't actually I agree with, I think it was conservative, you know, a conservative-leaning network, certainly. But not the propaganda that Democrats always said that it was."

Powers added that the channel has moved into an area where the close ties to Trump have sometimes "borders on propaganda sometimes," but that there are good journalists working at the channel and that it would be smart for Democrats to allow a debate on Fox News.

Cooper then asked Santorum if the move was shortsighted, saying, "It sounds like the kind of thing that pleases, you know, the liberal part, or the left, you know, far left part of the Democratic Party, and sort of makes them feel good, but just in terms of, you know, trying to sway voters who could be reached, it seems shortsighted, no?"

Santorum responded to ask what the DNC was afraid of by allowing the network to host a debate for Democratic candidates. "I mean, as Kirsten mentioned, there's legit journalists over there. You mentioned it, too. There's no question that there is an opinion side to Fox and you're right, they very much cheer for Trump and put a spin out there, but there's also a journalist side.

"And those are the folks that in my presidential debates those were the people who asked the questions and let me assure you they were really tough questions, they were as tough as the ones I got on CNN," Santorum added.

Santorum went on to say that MSNBC is as "in the bag" for the left as Fox News is for the right, and encouraged Republicans to go on MSNBC.

"So I just say to the Democratic Party, 'what are you afraid of?,'" Santorum asked. "You have a much bigger audience (on Fox News), you have an opportunity to make your case, why not make the case?"

Correction 03/07/19, 11:35 a.m.: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Bret Baier's name. This has been corrected.