Conservatives gathered in Arizona over the weekend where many were quick to choose between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for their 2024 preference, and when Fox News host Tucker Carlson was asked who he supported, his answer included lengthy praise for Trump.
America Fest 2022 hosted by Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA kicked off Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona where Carlson spoke about values, work ethic and faith along with the reality that achievement requires overcoming challenges. However, one topic that went unaddressed was his pick for the 2024 presidential race even when asked point blank by an attendee named Joshua, “Who do you plan to support: Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis?”
Rather than laugh off the question, though he did find humor in it, Carlson reflected on his importance in the grand scheme and said, “Who cares what I think? You know what I mean? I’m not endorsing anybody. I have no idea what’s gonna happen in the Republican primary.”
While he could have dropped the matter there, the host continued by speaking positively about both leaders before his captive audience. First, addressing DeSantis, Carlson touted the success of the governor who had become the topic of dinner discussions and had sparked a mass migration of citizens relocating to the Sunshine State.
“I spend a lot of time in Florida. And I think Ron DeSantis has done, like, an unbelievable job,” he noted.
From there, Carlson effused his favor of Trump for around seven minutes, saying, “I’m so grateful Donald Trump ran in 2016. Donald Trump completely changed my view of everything. Donald Trump is why I left Washington. And he did it in a really simple way: By asking questions that no one around could answer.”
“I should also add–since, why not–I actually love Donald Trump as a guy. I know Trump. I’ve known Trump for 20 years ’cause I work in the media, you know? And I just have always gotten along with him. And I think he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever talked to in my life,” Carlson continued. “I think he’s got this unbelievable life force to him.”
The host went on to joke, “Talking to Trump–especially when it’s not an interview–you don’t actually want to interview Trump, that’s a nightmare ’cause you can’t get him to answer any questions ’cause it’s the Trump train. You can get on or off, but you can’t steer it. Yeah, don’t ever interview Trump. But talking to Trump is one of the great joys, one of the great animal joys of life. Because he exudes this kind of animal joy. And I love that.”
“I think there are plenty of things to criticize about Trump. He’s a human being,” Carlson stated before measuring, “But the idea that he’s…personally some monster is like absurd. It’s just another lie. They always tell you the opposite of the truth. Trump is totally charming, and engaging, and fun and interesting.”
Others gathered at the event were more open to state their preference as the Daily Mail spoke with attendees. Michelle Phillips from California told the outlet, “Either one of them fits the bill,” while Lori McHugh admitted “I love DeSantis” despite being a “Trump woman,” and that she thought, “Trump is very polarizing. Some people just hate him.”
Another attendee reacted specifically to Carlson’s speech and said, “I know what Tucker was getting at. Trump was a great president. DeSantis is doing great things as governor. There’s a hint there that Trump is yesterday’s man.”
On the other hand, Kirk spoke to the Mail and said, “I think he’s America’s greatest governor. And I think he can end up being one of the best presidents in American history, but I know Trump was the greatest president in my lifetime. And I’m behind him.”
Polls have offered varying results on who voters actually support between the two should DeSantis join Trump in campaigning for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Both Kirk and Carlson addressed public concern that a clash would devastate the party with the event host saying, “I don’t want to see that happen. But I think Ron DeSantis has the potential eventually to be a once-in-a-generation type leader in a very transformational way.”
Meanwhile, the Fox News personality simply said, “I know every person in this room is terrified of some horribly destructive primary that hobbles the party. That is a nightmare scenario. But I don’t think it’s assured.”
The stream of Saturday’s event can be viewed below with Carlon’s specifics on the candidates beginning around 3:06:05.
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