Fri, 09 Jun 2023

The Draft Tucker PAC launched its first campaign ad, urging the party to pick the TV host, who doesn?t want the job

A political action campaign calling itself Draft Tucker PAC released a campaign ad on Thursday, urging the Republican Party to pick former Fox News host Tucker Carlson as its candidate for US president in 2024.

"Republicans need a new leader, and Tucker Carlson is ready to lead," the 30-second spot announces, describing the conservative pundit as "witty, sharp and [someone who] mocks woke nonsense." Carlson "will whip Biden in a debate," the commercial assures voters, insisting "no one in America is more articulate."

Led by former Texas congressional candidate and Republican donor Chris Ekstrom, the Draft Tucker PAC, which filed its papers last month after Carlson left Fox News, still has to convince its eponymous candidate to run.

Ekstrom told The Hill he was concerned that neither the Republican frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, nor Trump's leading challenger, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, is pushing the conversation in the right direction. "I'm very concerned that they're going to not move the debate as far right as it ought to be," he told the outlet, without explaining where the declared candidates fell short in their positions.

Describing the PAC as "exceptionally well-funded," Ekstrom explained it will sponsor polls and release more ads on radio and digital as well as TV, while populating its board with "major conservatives." He claimed Carlson had been "testing the water for quite a while" regarding presidential candidacy.

Earlier this month, Carlson joked about running for president in text messages with a reporter, something he has done several times before. However, he has dismissed the idea when asked about it seriously, telling former New York Times journalist Ben Smith last year that he was content working as a talk show host and had no desire for power.

While the media establishment have made it clear that they believe a Carlson candidacy would fail, they will also not stop talking about it, with around half a dozen articles discussing his chances emerging since the journalist left Fox.

Carlson's primetime news show far outstripped its competitors in ratings, bringing in over 3 million viewers nightly. The video he released on Twitter following his departure has pulled in over 84 million views. Earlier this month, he announced plans to launch a news show on the platform.


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