Fox News host Tucker Carlson headline Iowa’s Family Leadership Summit, an annual conference for Christian conservatives, on Friday.
And what he said raised eyebrows in Republican circles.
Specifically, Carlson fielded questions about a possible run for president… and he seems to have changed his tune from earlier this month.
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The interviewer asked Carlson, “When you come back to next year’s summit, will you be the Fox News TV host interviewing potential presidential hopefuls, or will you be a presidential hopeful?”
“Oh, please,” Carlson said, to disappointed reactions from the crowd. “God knows what the future holds.”
In previous interviews, Carlson had forcefully dismissed any possibility of running for president.
According to Newsweek, the Fox News personality told a journalist earlier this month, “My ambition is to write my script by 8 p.m… I don’t want power, I’ve never wanted power—I’m annoyed by things, I want them to change—but I’ve never been motivated by a desire to control people.”
Carlson concluded at the time, “I’m not running. I’m a talk show host!”
Now, at the Iowa summit, Carlson has changed his tune and acknowledged a possibility. He’s already been stirring speculation on Twitter.
Take a look —
He usually laughs it off and says no chance, this time he didn’t while addressing people IN Iowa. Makes ya think 🧐
— 𒌐 LAKE (@f00tj0bs) July 18, 2022
In Iowa, Carlson went on to explain his rationale for staying in his current role at Fox News. He described his mission to keep Republican leaders in line with Republican voters, and said he planned to do that from his perch at Fox News.
“I’ve got to be honest with you. My main — The people I’m maddest at in the world are the people who don’t do the duty and leave the vulnerable exposed. It’s the dad who leaves his kids. That’s the guy I’d just like to punch in the face. I mean it,” the talk show host said.
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Carlson accused Republican representatives of relying on Evangelical Christians’ votes and then bashing the Evangelicals in private. Carlson, a native of D.C., is the son of a diplomat from the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
“The average Republican leader is not represented in a meaningful way by his or her leaders in Washington, and I cannot stress that enough. And I cannot overstate how hostile that makes me,” he said. “So I have every intention of staying in the job that I have, but I’m going to keep hammering that.”
The interviewer acted surprised at Carlson’s answer about his presidential prospects. “You’re a little flattered,” the interviewer said.
Carlson laughed, “Flattered? Are you calling me a politician, Kyle? It was bad enough being a talk show host.”
The talk show host pulls 66-1 odds of becoming president, according to the Canadian site Betway. He ranks as more likely than Kanye West and Meghan Markle but less likely than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
In addition to the interview, Carlson gave a speech addressing inflation, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and other current issues.
The Lincoln Project — a PAC for Republicans against Trump — made a supercut of Carlson’s speech. They called it “Tucker Carlson’s Unofficial Presidential Speech.”
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“I can give you advice for how to assess the sweaty people begging for your vote,” Carlson said in the video. “I like my job. I can say whatever I want. I can tell the truth.”
Critics from the left-leaning Lincoln Project made a mashup of Carlon’s speech, calling it an “unofficial presidential speech.”
You can see it here —
The Horn editorial team