Dana Perino, a news anchor for Fox News, has a reputation for her ability to handle tough situations and engage in lively discussions. However, she admits that she could be better at avoiding conflict. While serving as the White House press secretary for President George W. Bush in 2008, she was struck in the face with a boom microphone during a scuffle that erupted after a journalist threw his shoes at the president. She endured a black eye for six weeks as a result.
Despite this incident, Perino’s time in the White House briefing room prepared her for her role as a moderator for the Republican presidential debate. This will be her biggest moment at Fox News since joining “The Five” in 2011. Unlike many of her colleagues, Perino is not known for being as provocative or partisan. She has tried to establish herself as a Bush Republican in a network where support for former President Donald J. Trump is often rewarded with high ratings and career advancement.
Colleagues have praised Perino for her ability to maintain her independence and respect differing viewpoints. She does not feel the need to deliver pro-Trump monologues like other conservative hosts on the network. Her rationality and respect for others’ opinions have helped her persevere at Fox News.
Perino has never interviewed Trump and doesn’t seem particularly eager to do so. When Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News over its promotion of conspiracy theories relating to Trump’s loss in the 2020 election, leaked texts revealed her low opinion of the former president and his claims of voter fraud. She has even received death threats for her views.
Regarding the upcoming debate, Perino said she wouldn’t mind if Trump participated but believed his absence would provide an opportunity for other candidates to shine. She criticized the previous debate for the candidates’ constant interruptions and expressed her willingness to interrupt them if necessary. She hopes the candidates will respect the rules and engage in a substantive debate.
Perino is known for her preparedness and attention to detail. She extensively preps questions for President Bush during briefing sessions and often accurately predicts the questions that would be asked. Former colleagues described her as someone who doesn’t hold back when advising the president, while still being respectful.
Perino’s career has come full circle as she returns to her roots in TV news. She started as a disc jockey and local news reporter before joining the Bush administration in 2006. Initially, she never envisioned herself returning to TV news after leaving local news, but her role as White House press secretary changed her trajectory. Now, she finds herself in the role of a journalist and the Republican presidential candidates will have to navigate her tough questions during the upcoming debate.