Top-rated Fox News host Tucker Carlson appeared on a new Mediaite podcast in which he claimed that Republicans “hate” most of President Donald Trump’s ideas but that they embrace him and his views because they “fear” him.
In addition, Carlson also rejected the suggestion that the great success of his own show is tied to the president’s rise in popularity as he has essentially taken over the party.
“I mean, I don’t think the Republican Party has embraced Trumpism, that’s for certain. I think they’re afraid of Trump,” the prime-time host said, according to a transcript of the show.
“And so they don’t want to tangle with Trump or get crossways with Trump, but I certainly don’t think they’ve embraced populism or Trumpism, whatever that is. I don’t even think it’s been clearly articulated, but no no no, they hate Trump’s ideas. They hate what Trump ran on in 2016,” Carlson said.
“They really hate it in DC, I can promise you that, and I’m including in the ‘they’ people who work for the Republican Party, people who work for the White House,” he continued. “They’re not on board at all, of course, with the idea that the wages of middle-class workers are like a key priority, that pointless wars are destructive to the country. You know, just the basic five ideas, four ideas, that he articulated in 2016.”
Carlson said establishment Republicans “hate those ideas” as much now as ever, but said that the president managed to win his race against Hillary Clinton because they resonate with a majority of Americans.
The host went on to suggest that Trump has gotten away from clearly explaining and reiterating the ideas that got him elected.
“If Trump was able to get out of the way of his own ideas or explain them with clarity, he’d be at 65 percent” in polls, rather than being down to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — though polling in recent years has been unreliable, at best.
“There’s always been a huge and avid audience for, I mean just to reduce it to the most basic terms, economic populism and social conservatism,” he added.
Carlson also suggested that Trump instinctively understood that and incorporated those platforms into his 2016 campaign.
“And so a candidate who stands up and says, ‘You know, we’re not going to like overturn the existing order tomorrow, actually, and what we are going to do is make certain that we don’t have these massive wealth disparities…’ because that’s clearly not good,” he said. “You don’t need to be Bernie Sanders to see that.
“It’s not good when, you know, the country goes bankrupt and Jeff Bezos makes 15 billion dollars in the same period. That’s a sign of un-health, that’s a sign that something’s really wrong, and it causes your society to become volatile,” the host continued.
“And people understand that intuitively, and that was essentially Trump’s pitch. He didn’t say that quite the way I just did but that’s really what he was saying, and that’s a very popular platform because it’s true,” said Carlson.
“And as I said, Trump has gotten in the way of that. Trump the man has gotten in the way of that idea, those ideas, but it doesn’t change the fact that those are really popular and always have been.”
Carlson was also asked about by podcast host Aiden McLaughlin about Blake Neff, a former writer for his show who resigned after CNN discovered anonymous posts he’d made years ago that were racist and sexist.
The host disavowed Neff’s online posts but also blasted people who were gloating over his discovery and dismissal, describing them as “ghouls beating their chests in triumph at the destruction of a young man.”
McLaughlin, Mediaite’s editor, suggested that Carlson was not “contrite” enough over the incident and that he should have apologized.
“Why would I apologize for something that someone else wrote that I didn’t know about?” Carlson asked.
“Well, I’m the editor of Mediaite, I would probably apologize if it turned out that one of my writers was posting horrifically racist and sexist things under a pseudonym online,” McLaughlin responded.
“Well, that’s up to you. I mean I said what I believe, as always, which is, I didn’t agree with what Blake wrote, I told him that, he left the show as a result of it, he lost his job, and what he wrote had no effect at any level on the show. It had nothing to do with the show. It was wholly distinct from the show,” Carlson said.