With the 2020 campaign season still in full swing, a new name is already being thrown out for the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
According to a new report from Politico, GOP insiders are eyeing Fox News host Tucker Carlson as a potential contender to take over the White House after the end of President Donald Trump’s second term — or Joe Biden’s first.
“Republican strategists, conservative commentators, and former Trump campaign and administration officials are buzzing about Carlson as the next-generation leader of Donald Trump’s movement — with many believing he would be an immediate frontrunner in a Republican primary,” Politico’s Alex Thompson wrote Thursday.
“A talented communicator”
Thompson cited a number of GOP-aligned officials who he said have expressed support for a Carlson ticket in 2024. Among them was a Republican strategist who worked for a Jeb Bush super PAC back in 2016.
“He’s a talented communicator with a massive platform,” the campaigner told Politico. “I think if he runs he’d be formidable.”
Sam Nunberg, a former political aide to Donald Trump agreed, saying, “If Biden wins and Tucker decided to run, he’d be the nominee.” But while Nunberg said that he doesn’t think Carlson would run because “he’s so disgusted with politicians,” National Review editor Rich Lowry told Politico that the Fox host can’t be counted out yet.
“No one can dismiss this and say it’s completely implausible,” Lowry said, according to Thompson. “There is at the very least a significant faction within the Republican Party that [Carlson] has a huge stake in and arguably leadership over.”
Lowry went on: “If [Carlson] 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.”
But would he leave Fox?
In total, Thompson cited 16 “prominent Republicans,” and found that “an emerging consensus in the GOP [said] that the 51-year-old Carlson would be formidable if he were to run.”
Of course, this isn’t much of a surprise; Carlson’s prime-time Fox program, Tucker Carlson Tonight, has long been named among the most-watched cable news programs, and on Fox’s YouTube channel, Carlson’s segments routinely draw millions of views. The journalist has also been lauded as a conservative who largely aligns with President Trump: Carlson values America-first, anti-immigration policies, as well as law and order and a strong but free economy.
It’s a message that resonates with millions of Americans. But will Carlson actually run? Thompson notes that some, “particularly those who know him well, are skeptical that [Carlson] would leave his prime-time TV gig.”
There are still four years to go until the next White House battle, however — and as the events of the 2020 race thus far have made clear, anything could happen.