Rick Wilson: Tucker Carlson might be boxed into entering 2024 presidential race by Fox contract
Rick Wilson - MSNBC screenshot

Tucker Carlson may be forced into a career change by his contract with Fox News, according to former Republican strategist Rick Wilson.

The conservative network unceremoniously dumped its top-rated host Monday morning just days after agreeing to pay $787 million to settle a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems based in part on false claims Carlson made about Donald Trump's election loss. But Wilson said the conservative broadcaster may now pose a threat to the former president's 2024 chances.

"The shock of this will ripple through the enormous right-wing media ecosystem for ages to come," Wilson tweeted. "He was the big goal for MAGA activists: the Tucker Hit. Consider this: Ron DeSantis predicated his entire campaign on winning the 'Tucker Primary.'"

It's not clear what Carlson, who turns 54 next month and has now been dropped by all three major cable news networks, might be planning for his next venture, but Wilson said his options are most likely contractually constrained for now.

"Fox probably has a pretty stiff noncompete in his contract, so I wouldn't count on the Tucker Carlson White Power Hour on the Blaze or Daily Wire any time soon," Wilson said. "TBD, of course, but Fox will leak those details soon enough to chill the waters. Which leads us to a fascinating prospect."

"What if he runs?" Wilson added. "He's rich enough. He'd instantly have an online fundraising juggernaut second only to Trump, and perhaps surpassing him. He's polarizing, terrible, and utterly amoral ... in short, better than Ron DeSantis for the base. I'd argue he's the only Republican who presents a material danger to Donald Trump in a primary. Celebrity, money, mental acuity, cynicism, pro-Putin isolationism, and an overt love of authoritarianism are a pretty strong secret sauce for the MAGA base. Celebrity got Trump the [White House]. It could certainly do the same for Tucker."

All the qualities that make Carlson's potential candidacy seem far-fetched would be considered strengths in a GOP primary, Wilson argues.

"Spare me your 'That could never happen. Even Trump's GOP would never vote for a former TV host pushing white replacement theory,'" he wrote. "That's PRECISELY who they'd vote for."

"This iteration of 'A Face In the Crowd' doesn't end with a revelation of the real character of the showman-as-politician," Wilson concluded. "This one ends with Tucker running and possibly winning a herrenvolk campaign, where his flaws don't matter, only his capacity for hate."