Cable news firebrand Tucker Carlson won’t run for president in 2024 or likely ever, he declared on Thursday.
Carlson spoke with Semafor co-founder Ben Smith in a virtual interview for the startup’s launch event and denied that he had presidential ambitions — or ambitions of any kind.
His insistence came after Mr Smith snidely remarked that “your friends, to the extend that you’ve still got them in Washington” were speaking about the possibility of him running for the Republican nomination for president in the next cycle. The remark resulted in a chuckle from Carlson.
“I have zero ambition, not just politically but in life,” Carlson stated. “My ambition is to write my script by 8pm, and I’m not just saying that, ask anyone who works with me or knows me.
“I don’t think that way; I don’t want power, I’ve never wanted power. I’m annoyed by things and I want them to change,” he continued. “But I’ve never been motivated by the desire to control people.”
The Fox host has been floated as a potential contender for the GOP throne should Donald Trump decide against running for the White House a third time; Mr Trump remains dominant in all polling of the potential 2024 Republican field ahead of other well-known conservatives like Ron DeSantis of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Carlson has long denied that he ever plans to enter politics beyond his nightly broadcast. It remains an open question as to who will take the GOP nomination in 2024 if Mr Trump declines to run, though Mr DeSantis has an advantage in most polling.
Much of his interview with Mr Smith on Thursday was focused on questions about Carlson’s views on race and criticism of his support for “replacement theory”, a racist theory that posits that the left is actively seeking to “replace” white Americans or otherwise significantly alter the demographics of America via immigration policies. Carlson defended his support for that view during the discussion, insisting that it was the core strategy of the Democratic Party.
The cable host remains one of Donald Trump’s most vocal boosters on Fox News along with fellow opinion hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham; in recent weeks he and his colleagues have attacked the proceedings of the bipartisan January 6 committee as an effort to smear the former president.
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