- Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked on his Thursday show whether President Donald Trump actually wants to be reelected in 2020.
- “Everyone assumes he wants to be reelected, most presidents do, but what if Donald Trump had decided he’s had enough?” Carlson said during the segment.
- Carlson offered hypothetical examples of what the president could do to deliberately try to lose in 2020 – to chide actual policies that have either been implemented or are being considered at the White House.
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Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked during his show on Thursday night: What if President Donald Trump doesn’t actually want to be reelected in 2020?
“Everyone assumes he wants to be reelected, most presidents do, but what if Donald Trump had decided he’s had enough?” Carlson said during the segment. “Too many investigations, too much nastiness, too few upsides. It wouldn’t be a crazy conclusion. How would you like to spend your 70s locked in the White House?”
Carlson was most recently embroiled in controversy after refusing to apologize for sexist and racist remarks, such as disparaging comments about women, the Obamas, and immigrants that were revealed last month by the progressive media watchdog Media Matters for America.
On Thursday’s show, Carlson offered hypothetical examples of what the president could do to deliberately try to lose in 2020, chiding actual policies either being implemented or considered at the White House.
First, Carlson said, the president would cut Medicare. Then, he would slash funding for the E-Verify program, an electronic database that allows employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the country.
After that, the president would permit more low-skilled workers to enter the program, which Carlson claims “would push down the wages of those who voted for him, the most vulnerable group in the country.”
The final blow, Carlson said, would be if the president decreased the prison sentences of people convicted of drug crimes. “And he’d continue our pointless military intervention in Syria, which in no way benefits the United States,” he added.
If people still wanted to vote for the president, Carlson said that the president could pull one more trick from his sleeve to get their attention: “You’d raise gas taxes,” he told viewers.
Carlson’s segment was highly critical of Trump – a sharp departure from the network’s typical coverage. As Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia recently noted in a CNN op-ed, “despite all the ways journalists and presidents have coordinated in the past, none comes close to the symbiosis between Fox News and Donald Trump. Not even Fox News has been so in bed with a White House before.”
The policies criticized by Carlson include the First Step Act, signed into law last year to reform parts of the federal criminal justice system by reducing mandatory minimum sentences for drug felonies and expanding early release programs; Trump’s 2020 budget proposal that includes an $845 billion deduction in Medicare spending over the next decade and cuts to E-Verify; the administration’s decision to keep 400 US troops in Syria; and the recent news that the White House may consider a gas tax hike to fund infrastructure improvements, an idea that has also found support among some congressional Democrats.
“If the president did all that, the message would be very clear he has no idea what he ran on in 2016,” Carlson said during his show. “He just wants out.”
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