Tucker Carlson fawns over ex-Trump critic J.D. Vance's populist campaign for US Senate

Tucker Carlson fawns over ex-Trump critic J.D. Vance's populist campaign for US Senate
Fox News host Tucker Carlson promotes Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance on his Thursday night show. Screenshot/Fox News
  • Tucker Carlson promoted Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance Thursday night.
  • Vance is a former Trump critic, venture capitalist, and best-selling author who's mounting a populist campaign.
  • Carlson's support is a major boon to Vance's campaign.

Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson aggressively promoted newly-announced Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance on his Thursday night program.

Carlson lavished praise on Vance, a venture capitalist and author of the best-selling memoir "Hillbilly Elegy" who's mounting a populist-nationalist campaign to fill retiring Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's seat.

"I probably shouldn't say this, I'm really glad you're doing it," Carlson told Vance during the interview. "I admire you and I wish you luck, very much. Thank you for doing this. Congratulations."

Vance's campaign message is remarkably similar to former President Donald Trump's and also closely reflects Carlson's ideology and worldview. He's appealing to "normal" -- largely white, rural, working-class -- Americans with an anti-immigrant, anti-establishment message. The Yale Law educated Appalachia native paints himself as an outsider, underdog candidate who's under attack from the media and establishments of both parties.

Vance says he wants to restore American greatness and prevent it from becoming "much poorer, much dirtier, and much uglier." Carlson regularly argues on his show that immigrants are making the US "poorer" and "dirtier" and "replacing" Republican voters -- and that Democrats are deliberately engineering this future to hold onto power.


"You have elites and the ruling class that have plundered this country, that have made it harder for middle class Americans to live a normal life," Vance told Carlson. "And when those Americans dare to complain about the conditions of their own country, if they dare to complain about the Southern border or about jobs getting shipped overseas, what do they get called? They get called racists, they get called bigots, xenophobes, or idiots. They need somebody who's willing to speak for them, who's willing to fight for them."

Carlson responded, "I love that."

As one of the country's most-watched cable news hosts, Carlson's clear support for Vance will be a boon to the candidate's campaign, particularly in the Republican primary.

Vance says he's a supporter of Trump's, but was very critical of the former president and his policies before he won the White House. He accused Trump of being a racist and a xenophobe and said that God expects more of

"I can't stomach Trump. I think that he's noxious and is leading the white working class to a very dark place," Vance told NPR's Terry Gross before Trump's win in 2016. In another interview, he told conservative commentator Mona Charen, "If Trump wins it would be terrible for the country, but good for book sales."


Vance was right. His book sales surged -- leading to a Netflix movie -- after Trump was elected and he became a popular spokesman for the white working-class. Since then, he's stayed mum on Trump and made it big as Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

CNN reported this week that Vance has deleted several tweets critical of Trump, including one in which he announced he would vote for third-party candidate Evan McMullin in 2016.