Fox News personalities jumped to Neil Cavuto’s defense on Thursday after President Donald Trump launched a tirade against the veteran anchor for unfavorable coverage of his performance in the 2016 presidential debates.
At a rally in Colorado Springs, Trump trashed Cavuto as well as former Fox News anchor and vocal Trump critic Shepard Smith, claiming that the network “doesn’t treat us like they used to.”
“All of their high-rated shows are the ones that like Trump. All of their loser shows are the ones that don’t like Trump. How is Shepard Smith doing? He had the lowest ratings and now Neil Cavuto took his place,” Trump said.
Trump seems to sincerely believe there's a media conspiracy (including Fox News) to not show the crowds at his rallies. Delusional. pic.twitter.com/9Fef3acjNv— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 21, 2020
Fox Business host Trish Regan, Fox News anchor Ed Henry and network contributor Richard Fowler criticized the president for his remarks.
Cavuto is the “utmost journalist and always fair,” Regan said. “I can tell you that about Neil. He is a fair person, a fair guy and a good man. So I’m disappointed that the president said those things because Neil Cavuto is one guy who just doesn’t deserve it.”
Fowler and Henry also went to bat for their colleague.
“[Trump] spent the past 30 or so minutes trashing one of our colleagues, Neil Cavuto, for no reason in particular,” Fowler said. “This speaks to the problem with this presidency. He can run on the good economy and I will give him points for that, but to sit on this air and trash a good journalist, it speaks to the problem that we have. We can’t tell our children to do unto others when you have a president attacking a good man for no reason in particular aside from the fact that he criticized a particular policy position of his.”
“He’s the leader of the free world,” Fowler added. “For him to sit here and attack a journalist, multiple journalists for reporting facts on his presidency is not only problematic, it’s un-presidential.”
Henry did not criticize Trump, but said he wanted to stand up for Cavuto as well, whom he described as an “outstanding man and outstanding journalist.”
Trump’s diatribe against Cavuto was prompted by an earlier exchange on Fox News. A.B. Stoddard of RealClearPolitics, a guest on “Your World With Neil Cavuto,” characterized the president’s performance in the 2016 presidential debates as “disastrous” and “cringeworthy.”
Having heard the comments, Trump tweeted:
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
After checking the polls, Cavuto reported that the majority of mainstream pollsters said that Trump did not perform well in the debates.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.