While most conservatives were stunned and disappointed by the news that Fox News had fired top-rated primetime host Tucker Carlson, some Republicans on Capitol Hill weren’t sorry to see him go.
The Hill reported on Wednesday that Republicans who support US involvement in the war in Ukraine were greeting his sudden ouster as good news.
A Republican Senate aide who spoke with The Hill described Carlson’s departure as “a bad day for Vladimir Putin” since it takes “one of the biggest” conservative critics of the war “off the table.”
According to the unnamed aide, Republican senators had also grown uncomfortable with his opposition to vaccine mandates, claiming that during the pandemic Carlson’s “over-the-top rhetoric” divided conservatives.
The Hill spoke to one Republican senator anonymously who said Fox ousting Carlson is a positive development for keeping the public supporting the war in Ukraine. Calling Carlson “mean, irresponsible, and dangerous,” the unnamed senator said the former Fox host didn’t care if what he said was true or not.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney said he found it bizarre that some argue that Carlson was setting the Republican Party’s foreign policy. Romney said Carlson certainly didn’t influence him. But he conceded that Carlson is influential among the Republican base and grassroots voters.
When asked how he would rate Carlson’s influence over the Republican base, Romney said it would depend on the particular issue, adding he believes Carlson “was misguided” about Russia and Ukraine.
Romney also expressed dismay over Carlson’s coverage of the January 6 riot, calling it “disheartening and disappointment” that someone as intelligent as Tucker Carlson would defend the people who broke into “the symbol of democracy here and around the world.”
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn told The Hill that while Carlson isn’t “going away,” he won’t have as much influence on Republican politics now that he is no longer on Fox.