CAIR and Emgage Action Call on Fox News Anchors to Raise Muslim, Minority Community Engagement in Republican Presidential Primary Debate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Emgage Action today called on Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum – who are scheduled to moderate the first Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday, August 23 – to question Republican presidential candidates about their plans to reach out to and engage with Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Asian, African American, Hispanic, and other minority communities.


CAIR and Emgage Action are uniting their voices to emphasize the need for presidential candidates to address how they plan to engage and listen to the concerns of diverse American communities, including American Muslims. As Fox News anchors Baier and McCallum prepare to host the initial Republican primary debate, both organizations assert the crucial importance of elevating substantive discourse that transcends political rhetoric.


Earlier today, CAIR and Emgage Action sent the following request to Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum:


“Inclusivity is not merely a buzzword; it stands as an integral element within our nation’s tapestry. This Republican presidential primary debate presents candidates with a chance to substantiate their dedication to active involvement across all sectors of our diverse society. We respectfully urge you to query Republican primary presidential candidates regarding their strategies for connecting with Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Asian, African American, Hispanic, and other minority communities. Furthermore, as immigration is a critical issue area for these communities, we encourage you to inquire about the candidates’ immigration platforms as well as ask about their positions on previous policies which applied religious dimensions to immigration access.”

CAIR and Emgage Action are urging Republican presidential primary debate moderators and participants to address how they will engage minority communities. By prioritizing these issues, the Republican primary presidential debate can serve as a platform for substantive discussions that reflect the true makeup of the ever-changing nation.


About the Debate


The first Republican presidential primary debate is slated for Wednesday, August 23rd, at 9:00 PM ET / 8:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM MT / 6:00 PM PT in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The debate will be aired on Fox News. Notably, Milwaukee has also been chosen as the host city for the 2024 Republican National Convention. The confirmed debate participants are: Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota; former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida; former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina; former Vice President Mike Pence; entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy; and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.


Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump has declined to partake in the debate. Instead, he has chosen to release a pre-recorded interview with Tucker Carlson via online channels.


The Republican presidential primary debate marks a pivotal starting point for the 2024 election season and candidates have a unique opportunity to outline their strategies for genuine engagement, dismantling barriers, and amplifying the voices of communities historically marginalized in political discourse.