Tucker Carlson brings his conservative politics to Michigan ahead of 2024 election

UTICA, Mich. — Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson criticized Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other Michigan leaders for the migration of residents out of the state and promoted unfounded claims about the 2020 presidential election at an event Sunday.

“I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody in the state of Michigan who would vote for Gretchen Whitmer, so, like, how did that happen?” he said to applause.

Carlson, who until recently hosted “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, spoke to a few hundred people at Jimmy John’s Field on Sunday afternoon. Some wore hats supporting former President Donald Trump, including “Make America Great Again.”

Carlson spoke in Macomb County, a county that flipped to Trump in 2016, remained with him in 2020 and likely will play a role in 2024 presidential politics. Carlson advised the crowd to organize and to “speak with total honesty, clarity and aggression.”

He also falsely stated that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged,” which drew enthusiastic applause from the crowd.

Carlson was fired from his role at Fox this past spring. Fox said at the time the network and Carlson had “agreed to part ways,” the Associated Press reported.

The New York Times reported in May that the Fox board had been alarmed by a text Carlson sent to one of his producers in which he allegedly said, “It’s not how white men fight” in reference to a fight by Trump supporters against an antifa supporter. The Times said the discovery of the text “contributed to a chain of events” that led to Carlson being fired on April 24, less than a week after Fox agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems nearly $800 million in a settlement, the AP reported.

Criticism of Michigan leaders and teachers unions

Carlson criticized the state’s leaders and said he hadn’t personally met anyone in Michigan who would vote for Whitmer. He said his wife is from Michigan.

“If you’re running a state and people are leaving, then you are by definition failing, or am I missing something? Is there another definition?” he said.

Carlson also called Attorney General Dana Nessel “truly a lunatic.”

“You can just throw people in prison when they disagree with you,” he said, “which she’s in the process of doing, as you know.”

It was unclear what Carlson was referring to, but Nessel has leveled felony charges against 16 Republicans who signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump won Michigan’s 16 electoral votes.

He said money should be spent on “destroying the teachers union in Michigan.”

Carlson brings up the ‘Trump saga’

Carlson mentioned the “Trump saga,” possibly referring to the former president’s recent indictments.

“I’ve watched the whole Trump saga, and I’ve had various feelings at various times,” he said. “I’ve been incredibly frustrated by Trump, because, honestly, who couldn’t be? And then other times, I’ve been totally inspired and excited.”

At one point, Carlson asked the crowd if Trump has really committed a crime “so severe that we should send him to prison for the rest of his life,” and they responded, “No!”

Local residents turn out to watch Carlson

Lynn Roy, a Macomb Township resident and retired nurse, said ahead of the speech that she loves Carlson and “what he stands for.” The U.S. border with Mexico, crime and education are some of the issues important to Roy as the 2024 presidential election approaches.

Stacy Wells, a business owner in Oakland County, said she appreciated Carlson’s message that words matter.

“I believe that we should have a forum and a format that celebrates lots of voices and lots of ideas, as opposed to just one,” she said.


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This story was originally published September 10, 2023, 7:37 PM.