The Tucker Carlosn show is running in Iowa were the 2024 Republican sweepstakes contestants are sitting down with him for interviews…..(Pence got beat up)
Donald Trump isn’t on the list….
On paper it was a chance for presidential candidates to appeal to conservative Christians in the nation’s first caucus state. In practice, it doubled as the Tucker Carlson show.
Most of the Republican field arrived at a packed convention center Friday for an annual forum traditionally billed as a chance for candidates to pitch themselves to Iowa’s influential evangelicals. Instead, several were subjected to a combative stress test conducted by the ousted Fox News anchor whose 9 million-strong Twitter following demonstrates his continued sway over the GOP….
And he saved most of his animus for former Vice President Mike Pence.
In the most contentious interview of the day, Carlson laced into the underdog candidate over his position on the war and his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and called for hanging Pence for certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Carlson — a fierce Trump defender who later soured on the ex-president — challenged, interrupted and contradicted the soft-spoken Pence at nearly every turn. As a result, the devout Christian candidate faced hostility and jeers at a summit that would have once provided him with a friendly audience.
“I’ve never used the word insurrection, Tucker,” Pence said when asked if he agreed with that term. He called Jan. 6 “a tragic day” and “a riot that took place at the Capitol,” and sought to strike a middle ground by admonishing the demonstrators’ violence as well as the fatal shooting of Trump backer Ashli Babbitt by a police officer.
“I’ll always believe that by God’s grace, I did my duty that day under the Constitution of the United States of America, and our institutions held,” Pence said to tepid applause, later saying he was “infuriated” by how the Capitol building and law enforcement officers were treated….
While several audience members applauded Carlson’s style and focus on the war, establishment Republicans expressed dismay.
“Republicans will live to regret treating Tucker Carlson as a GOP standard-bearer. On nearly every issue of consequence he’s so deeply outside the mainstream: from whitewashing 1/6, to espousing pro-Kremlin misinfo, he is beyond wrong & it will cost us in the ballot box,” tweeted former Trump staffer and “The View” co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin.
Meanwhile, several candidates stayed on Carlson’s wavelength and enjoyed much friendlier interviews.
DeSantis and Ramaswamy — who blamed Jan. 6 on anger people felt over what he described as “pervasive censorship in this country” — seemed to appease Carlson by generally agreeing with his position on the Ukraine war.
Some in the audience mused that the setup was particularly tough for a few candidates, like Pence and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson….