SHOCK: Tucker Carlson May Be The Republican Nominee For President In 2024!
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Tucker Carlson 2024? The GOP is buzzing
The Fox News host's ratings have gone gangbusters, and many Republicans think he'd be a force in a Republican primary.
Tucker Carlson’s audience is booming — and so is chatter that the popular Fox News host will parlay his TV perch into a run for president in 2024.
Republican strategists, conservative commentators, and former Trump campaign and administration officials are buzzing about Carlson as the next-generation leader of Donald Trump’s movement — with many believing he would be an immediate frontrunner in a Republican primary.
“He’s a talented communicator with a massive platform. I think if he runs he’d be formidable,” said Luke Thompson, a Republican strategist who worked for Jeb Bush’s super PAC in 2016.
While practically every Republican eyeing a 2024 presidential run is professing loyalty to Trump the person, Carlson has become perhaps the highest-profile proponent of “Trumpism” — a blend of anti-immigrant nationalism, economic populism and America First isolationism that he articulates unapologetically and with some snark. At the same time, he's shown a rare willingness among Republicans to bluntly criticize Trump when he believes the president is straying from that ideology.
In another twist, Carlson has established a friendship with Donald Trump, Jr., according to a source familiar with their relationship. Trump Jr. has drawn his own share of presidential buzz.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” is currently the most watched cable news program in history, according to the second quarter ratings released this week. And on Fox News’ YouTube channel, Carlson’s segments from the past quarter have drawn well over 60 million views and are among the most popular videos in the eight years since the network began posting on the platform.
His popularity with the base would instigate a debate over the future of the party — essentially whether Trump was an aberration or a party-realigning disrupter — a fight that will be all the fiercer if Trump loses in November.
“Let me put it this way: If Biden wins and Tucker decided to run, he’d be the nominee,” said Sam Nunberg, a former top political aide to Trump who knows Carlson. But Nunberg said he doesn’t believe Carlson will run because “he’s so disgusted with politicians.”
Sixteen prominent Republicans interviewed by POLITICO said there’s an emerging consensus in the GOP that the 51-year-old Carlson would be formidable if he were to run. Some strategists aligned with other potential candidates are convinced he will enter the race and detect the outlines of a stump speech in Carlson’s recent Fox monologues. Others, particularly those who know him well, are skeptical that he would leave his prime-time TV gig.
Carlson and Fox News declined to comment on his political prospects.
Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review and author of “The Case for Nationalism,” said in an interview, “No one can dismiss this and say it’s completely implausible.”
“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, who writes a column for POLITICO, said. “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.”
Carlson has never run for office and has been dismissive of doing so in the past. In 2012, Nunberg said Republican operative Roger Stone unsuccessfully pushed Carlson to run on the Libertarian ticket. Stone told POLITICO in an email that “[i]t is not inconceivable that I may have raised it in jest or in passing as repartee, but have no memory of that.”
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