United States: Far-right conspiracy theorist and prime-time Fox News TV anchor, Tucker Carlson, flirted with a presidential run, on Friday in his speech to a large mass gathering of devout Christian Conservative voters in Des Moines, Iowa.
Carlson fully utilised the public media coverage in Iowa’s speech and used the event to bring several key issues under fire, he blasted transgender athletes, high energy prices (and did not forget to include wind turbines as well) and even make a passing remark at the January 6th insurrection (an issue which has not yet interested reluctant voters on the right). He ultimately shifted to a scathing attack on corporate America, leeching its energy off of hardworking Christians.
His speech mainly centred around all those controversial issues which became raging debate topics on his show, targeting a specific audience: white, middle-class and Christian.
Carlson cleverly began his speech, almost like a politician pulling in voters. He said, “I think I’ve done the full Grassley”, a clear allusion to long-serving Sen. Chuck Grassley who is famous for visiting all the state’s 99 counties during his campaigns- serving as an informal proof of the candidate’s dedication to his presidential run.
“He’s flirting with it, 100 per cent,” said John Schweppe, policy director for the social conservative group American Principles Project.
Carlson was also quizzed on another controversial topic which he has been rather vocal about and heavily criticized for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “I’m not a Putin defender, despite what you may have heard, because he’s not the president of my country. And what he does in Ukraine, while I think is historically significant- certainly significant to Ukrainians- is not more significant to me than the cost of gas,” he said to the many gathered for the Family Leader Summit in Des Moines.
Since hyping up Donald Trump’s presidential runs and the entire duration of his office, Tucker Carlson has become a right-wing favourite, with many hoping for his campaign announcement. But Carlson has consistently downplayed such concerns. When asked recently by journalist Ben Smith, co-founder of the new outlet Semafor, if he was running for President, Carlson laughed and said, “I’m not running.”