Trump And Tucker Steal Spotlight From Fox’s GOP Debate

In a move that could only be described as media genius, President Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson teamed up to outfox Fox News during the first GOP primary debate held Wednesday evening. Opting out of the Milwaukee debate, Trump instead staged a timely interview with Carlson that was fantastic political theater.

According to RealClearPolitics averages, Trump leads his closest GOP rivals by a staggering 41.1% nationally and 26% in Iowa. So, what was the point of him standing on a stage getting hammered by a gaggle of opponents? Trump’s strategy to not engage is the perfect play. As the former president said during his interview with Carlson, “Fox is way down, and the good old days are long ago. We’ll get better ratings on this crazy forum you’re using than — probably — the debate, the competition.”

The 46-minute conversation was full of substance, too. Trump called Joe Biden “the most corrupt and incompetent president we’ve ever had.” He also questioned Biden’s ties with China and Russia, labeling him a “Manchurian candidate.” Considering Biden’s waning health and dwindling approval ratings, Trump’s remarks resonate with a sizable chunk of the American electorate who share his sentiment.

The irony of this brilliant piece of counterprogramming can’t be understated. Tucker Carlson, once Fox News’s star host, was suddenly ousted by the network earlier this year after a controversial court settlement.

Fox News has directly ordered all staff not to use any news generated by Carlson. But despite this, Carlson has continuously outperformed, scoring high-profile interviews like the one with Trump. It’s clear that even without the Fox News platform, Carlson is far from being silenced.

Trump, too, has been continuously scrutinized by mainstream media and is facing multiple legal battles. Yet, his influence seems almost Teflon-coated. “I think it’s easier because I’m so high in the polls and it shows that the people get it. The people see it’s a fraud,” Trump told Carlson. Even the legal woes he faces seem to fortify his support base rather than diminish it.

Trump also didn’t hesitate to share his thoughts on his potential Republican rivals. He criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying, “His people have figured him out.” Even his own former Vice President, Mike Pence, wasn’t spared. Trump claims Pence received poor legal advice when he refused to send votes back to state legislatures for re-tabulation during the 2020 election.

Ultimately, Trump and Carlson’s interview could be the game-changer in the 2024 GOP primaries. While the candidates at the Fox News debate did their best to present their platforms, the night’s real winners were miles away, making headlines on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter. The duo’s ability to steal the spotlight from a network that used to be their home proves that they remain influential in conservative media, capable of shifting the national conversation to fit their narrative.

So, while the GOP candidates were debating, Trump and Carlson were already winning — in the ratings and the minds of conservative America.