On Wednesday night, former President Donald Trump and recently ousted former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, made the strategic decision to skip the Fox News GOP primary debate and instead joined forces to divert attention from the ongoing news cycle and to serve up a little revenge.
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Rather than engage in the Milwaukee GOP debate where notable political figures including Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), tech magnate Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) were gathering — Trump opted for a different approach.
He consciously avoided direct confrontations with numerous opponents who likely would have used the platform to launch attacks against him. The interview itself reportedly took place two days before the GOP debate at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.
Its timing was carefully planned, with the content airing on X, formerly known as Twitter, for a concise five minutes just before the debate began.
Leading up to the debate, Carlson’s camp unveiled a Trump-focused teaser reel, hinting at topics ranging from Trump’s concerns about personal safety to discussions about political animosity, election integrity, and even the contentious topic of Jeffrey Epstein’s demise.
The dialogue between Trump and Carlson touched on a range of subjects, but perhaps the most impactful moments centered on Joe Biden. Trump didn’t mince words, declaring Biden as the “most corrupt president” in U.S. history, also labeling him as the most inept.
Trump expressed concern over Biden’s connections with China and questioned the finances of the University of Pennsylvania Biden Center. As the interview progressed, Trump’s assertions extended to the 2020 election, with claims of widespread fraud leveraging the pandemic.
He advocated for a return to paper ballots, suggesting their inherent security. Furthermore, Trump shared his view that then Vice President Mike Pence held the authority to send votes back to state legislatures for reevaluation — a perspective that drew controversy during the post-election period.
While the official GOP debate boasted its own moments of contention, it’s likely that the Trump and Tucker collaboration managed to secure a larger share of the audience’s attention. The duo successfully orchestrated a counterprogramming strategy that capitalized on their wit and commitment to making America great again.