- Tucker Carlson would be a real threat to Trump if he were to run in 2024, says ex GOP strategist Rick Wilson.
- Carlson would be able to launch an “online fundraising juggernaut” with ease, Wilson said.
- Carlson’s celebrity and money would also work in his favor, Wilson added.
Tucker Carlson would pose a credible threat to former president Donald Trump in the 2024 GOP presidential race if he were to run, says a former GOP strategist.
Carlson has not hinted at having presidential ambitions, but onetime GOP strategist Rick Wilson says Carlson — who until Monday was one of Fox News’ top anchors — has what it takes to put up a good fight against Trump for the Republican nomination.
“What if he runs? He’s rich enough. He’d instantly have an online fundraising juggernaut second only to Trump, and perhaps surpassing him,” Wilson, who served as a strategist for former President George H.W. Bush, tweeted on Tuesday. Wilson was a field director on Bush’s 1988 campaign, then worked for former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani as a campaign advisor in the early 2000s, per Ballotpedia. Wilson is now a staunch Trump critic and one of the cofounders of The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump super PAC.
Wilson added that if Carlson were to run, he would be the “only Republican who presents a material danger to Donald Trump in a primary” — surpassing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is currently Trump’s biggest rival in the GOP.
“Celebrity, money, mental acuity, cynicism, pro-Putin isolationism, and an overt love of authoritarianism are a pretty strong secret sauce for the MAGA base,” Wilson wrote.
“Celebrity got Trump the WH,” Wilson added. “It could certainly do the same for Tucker. And spare me your ‘That could never happen. Even Trump’s GOP would never vote for a former TV host pushing white replacement theory.’ That’s PRECISELY who they’d vote for.”
Carlson, a firebrand hose on Fox News, was on Monday ousted from his primetime spot. He has hired Bryan Freedman — a powerhouse lawyer known for getting multimillion-dollar payouts for clients — to negotiate his exit from the network.
Trump and Carlson text each other often and are the closest they’ve ever been, The New York Times reported this week. In private, Carlson has previously bashed Trump, as shown by text messages that were in March made public as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox.
Carlson has not said what his next steps post-Fox News will be. Freedman did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.