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Tucker For President? Speculation Mounts After Fox News Exit

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, via Wikimedia Commons

By Arjun Singh for the Daily Caller Foundation on April 24, 2023

After the conservative commentator Tucker Carlson left Fox News on Monday, public speculation has suggested that he may mount a 2024 presidential campaign.

“He’s running,” tweeted Stephen L. Miller, a conservative commentator and editor at The Spectator, a sentiment that many media figures on the right echoed. “It significantly changes the GOP 2024 primary overnight,” wrote Philip Wegmann, a White House Correspondent for RealClearNews.

“Keep an eye out for speeches in the Granite State,” tweeted fellow conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt, referring to New Hampshire. “He’s always downplayed the possibility of running for president, but that’s an open possibility now,” wrote Christopher Rufo, a conservative writer and fellow of the Manhattan Institute, a leading think tank on the right.

Carlson, co-founder of the Daily Caller News Foundation, hosted the show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News’ primetime 8 p.m. slot from 2016 to 2023. During this time, he was consistently ranked as the highest-rated cable television host in the United States.

An estimated 3.2 million viewers watched Carlson’s show every night in March of 2023, per Mediaite, which political experts claim would make him a leading candidate for the Republican nomination.

“He’s a talented communicator with a massive platform. I think if he runs he’d be formidable,” said Luke Thompson, a Republican political strategist who worked for Jeb Bush in 2016, to Politico. This was echoed by others, such as Sam Nunberg, an advisor to Donald Trump, who predicted in 2020 that “If Biden wins and Tucker decided to run, he’d be the nominee.”

Were Carlson to enter the 2024 Republican primary, he would be running against Trump and, prospectively, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to announce his candidacy in May, and several other candidates.

When previously asked the question of whether he’d run, Carlson has declined any interest.

“I have zero political ambition in life. My ambition is to write my script and that’s what you’ll hear from anyone who knows me,” Carlson told Semafor’s Ben Smith in July 2022.

He added that “I don’t want power and I’ve never wanted power, [but] I’m annoyed by things and want them to change.”

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