Fox News host Sean Hannity
, who has a strong tea party following, was the first to broadcast an interview with Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul after the Kentucky senator announced Tuesday that he was running.
Hannity had also been first to air an interview with Sen. Ted Cruz
after the Texan declared on March 23 that he was in the presidential race.
"The decisions by both candidates to give their first interviews to Hannity demonstrates just how much influence the conservative pundit still holds over the insurgent wing of the Republican party," wrote Politico's media columnist Dylan Byers
Other interviews with Paul were held off until after Hannity's Fox News program
aired at 10 p.m., according to Politico.
After Rush Limbaugh, Hannity is reportedly the most popular conservative talk radio host in the country.
listed Hannity as one of the world's most powerful celebrities and estimated his earnings in 2014 at $30 million.
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