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Tucker Carlson’s name is being tossed around as a potentially “formidable” U.S. candidate for office.
The Fox News host has seen a surge in ratings and many Republican strategists and conservative commentators believe he may well use that television platform to launch a political run for office. A new report in Politico claims that Republicans are “buzzing” over the idea that that the host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” could make a presidential bid in 2024.
While Carlson has been an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump and his general ideology, the 51-year-old Daily Caller founder has not hesitated to call out the president when he feels he needs to be criticized.
“He’s a talented communicator with a massive platform. I think if he runs he’d be formidable,” Republican strategist Luke Thompson told Politico.
Carlson’s new friendship with Donald Trump, Jr. has also gotten attention as his show’s ratings have soared, recently breaking the record for the highest-rated quarter of any cable news program in history. according to Forbes. That record was previously held by Carlson’s Fox News colleague, Sean Hannity.
Television’s second-quarter ratings saw “Tucker Carlson Tonight” finishing with an average total audience of 4.331 million viewers and coming in with the highest-rated program in all of cable news since the show debuted in 2016. All this came in spite of advertiser boycotts in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The past quarter has also brought over 60 million views for Carlson’s segments which are posted on Fox News’ YouTube channel.
“This may be a lot of things, this moment we are living through. But it is definitely not about black lives, and remember that when they come for you,” Carlson said in a lengthy monologue earlier last month which has been viewed more than 5.2 million times on YouTube.
“Tucker’s warning about ‘when they come for you’ was clearly referring to Democratic leaders and politicians,” Fox News said in a later statement.
Sam Nunberg, a former top political aide to the president does not believe Carlson will take on the challenge of running for office since “he’s so disgusted with politicians.” But a Trump loss in November, which the Fox News host has warned the president could happen, could set the stage for a new debate.
Tucker: The time is now for Trump to draw a line between law and destruction, to win reelection and save America https://t.co/KC1i3A3qrv
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 26, 2020
“Let me put it this way: If Biden wins and Tucker decided to run, he’d be the nominee,” Nunberg told Politico.
The news outlet cited 16 “prominent Republicans” who had been questioned on the topic and reported on “an emerging consensus in the GOP” that Carlson will prove to be a tough challenger – and likely frontrunner – in a Republican primary.
“No one can dismiss this and say it’s completely implausible,” editor of the conservative National Review, Rich Lowry, said.
“There is at the very least a significant faction within the Republican Party that [Carlson] has a huge stake in and arguably leadership over,” Lowry, a writer for Politico, added. “If he has political ambitions, he has an opening. He has a following and a taste for controversy. He’s smart, quick on his feet and personable. Political experience matters less than it once did.”
Political consultant and former Trump adviser Roger Stone reportedly pressed Carlson to run for office on the Libertarian ticket in 2012, according to Nunberg.
Carlson has not shied away from slamming GOP lawmakers as he did this week when he torched them for proposing to replace Columbus Day by making Juneteenth a national holiday.
Tucker Carlson slams spineless Republicans for push to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth https://t.co/cYtelFWXdl
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 2, 2020
“What he’s been saying speaks for a lot of people, and it’s basically not expressed or serviced by most Republican politicians,” Lowry said. “There’s a lot to be said for being fearless, and he is, while Republican politicians, as a breed, are not.”
“If you are a Republican politician and you want to know where Republican voters are,” one GOP strategist told Politico, “all you have to do is watch Tucker Carlson every night.”
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