Well, it looks like Geraldo Rivera’s Ohio Senate run is over before it began. At least for the moment, that is.
The Fox News correspondent-at-large announced earlier this week that he was considering running for the seat occupied by Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who has opted not to run for re-election in 2022.
Rivera, who said he would be running as a Republican, even revealed his campaign slogan during a Fox News segment on Thursday: “Geraldo for Ohio, from the great river to the Great Lake, I will fight for you.”
That all changed on Friday morning, however, as Rivera backed away from his nascent campaign during a Fox & Friends appearance, explaining that the network gave him an ultimatum.
“What is the deal?” Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy asked. “You made news earlier this week suggesting you might run for office, but then I read yesterday, you apparently sobered up.”
During a Thursday night appearance on Fox News’ Hannity, Rivera said that he had decided against running for office at the time. He also took to Twitter on Thursday to announce he was backing off.
“Well, you know what happens? You wake up, you have a dream and the thing is you probably should keep your dream to yourself,” Rivera responded. “Instead I started talking to [Rivera’s wife] Erica about it and we both got very enthusiastic.”
Adding that as a “moderate Republican” he feels he could do well in Ohio, the 77-year-old Fox correspondent said the reaction was “much more overwhelming” than he expected before bringing up the network’s reaction.
“Fox freaked out, you know, said, ‘Pick a lane, are you a journalist or a politician?’ And I wasn’t ready to, you know, jump off my current turnstile,” Rivera said. “So, instead I had to kind of embarrass myself and say never mind.”
He concluded: “You know, I’m not prepared, yet, to leave my current profession. Maybe if I kept my mouth shut another six months it would have been a different story.”
Fox News, like other news networks, generally cuts ties with paid contributors and analysts whenever they run for public office, join political campaigns, or go to work for elected officials. Recently, for example, Fox terminated the contract of Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she announced she was running for Arkansas governor.