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Although the 2020 presidential election is still four months away, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been drawing buzz over his potential to serve as the Republican successor to President Donald Trump.
Politico reports that “there’s an emerging consensus in the GOP that the 51-year-old Carlson would be formidable if he were to run” in the 2024 election.
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.
“What he’s been saying speaks for a lot of people, and it’s basically not expressed or serviced by most Republican politicians,” Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, told Politico. “There’s a lot to be said for being fearless, and he is, while Republican politicians, as a breed, are not.”
Sam Nunberg, a former Trump aide who also knows Carlson, told the news agency that while he doesn’t believe Carlson will run for president, as he’s “so disgusted with politicians,” the Fox News host would become the 2024 Republican nominee if he were to run during a Joe Biden presidency.
The Fox News host has been drawing record ratings, likely in part for his willingness to challenge GOP politicians when he believes they’re wrong. Earlier this week, the Fox News host went after Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and James Lankford (R-OK) for trying to remove Columbus Day in order to make room for Juneteenth, a move they said was a money-saving measure.
“They describe themselves as conservatives, improbable as that may seem,” Carlson said of the two senators, later adding, “They’re hoping to quietly eliminate Columbus Day and then move on to the next rioters’ list of demands.”
In recent weeks, Carlson also challenged GOP Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) on his own show over the senator’s proposal to reform the legal doctrine of qualified immunity — which protects police officers and other government workers from civil lawsuits in situations where they did not violate “clearly established law” — without having support from law enforcement groups.
“If you care what they think, why don’t you write something they’ll endorse?” said Carlson, later adding, “The country’s burning, not because cops are burning it down, but because the mob is.”
As National Review notes, the current form of qualified immunity has proven to be divisive among Republican senators. In addition, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has also expressed doubt about qualified immunity in its current form, having written so after the Supreme Court rejected a case last month.
After appearing on Carlson’s show, 14News reports that Braun distanced himself from his own police reform bill: “Democrats have blocked any attempt for police reform, and I’m not going to push this bill further without input from law enforcement.”