This is a major buzz in GOP circles now ringing about Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The word that is being reported: he would be a favored Republican candidate for president in 2024. “He’s a talented communicator with a massive platform. I think if he runs he’d be formidable,” announced Luke Thompson, a GOP strategist that worked for JEB Bush in 2016.
Others appear to echo the same sentiment. “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 aide to Trump who knows Carlson. But Nunberg added he doesn’t believe Carlson will run since “he’s so disgusted with politicians.”
“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, among the most popular videos in the eight years since the network began posting on the platform.
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.
Rich Lowry, author of “The Case for Nationalism” and editor of the conservative National Review told, “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.”
Then stated, “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.”
This week, Carlson cautioned his viewers to watch out for “vultures [who] wait just off stage to swoop in and claim the GOP for themselves once Donald Trump is gone,” name-checking likely 2024 candidate Nikki Haley. Carlson claimed, “The moment Trump leaves, they will attack him. They’ll tell you that ‘Republicans lost power because they were mean and intolerant just like Donald Trump.’ … It’s a lie.”
Who will the GOP run for 2024?