Tucker Carlson Criticizes Trump's Protest Response for Entirely Different Reason Than Anderson Cooper
Carlson hardly spoke of the outrage over George Floyd's death in police custody
On the same night that CNN's Anderson Cooper called President Donald Trump's handling of the ongoing protests across the country against police brutality and racial injustice “low rent and just sad,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson criticized Trump as well — but for a very different reason.
Cooper, 52, had taken issue with Trump's decision to pose for a photo while holding a bible in front of St. John's Episcopal Church in downtown Washington, D.C., amid the protests on Monday night. Law enforcement forcefully cleared away demonstrators to make way for the president.
"He has to sic police on peaceful protestors so he could make a big show, the little big man, walking to a closed-down church," Cooper said Monday on Anderson Cooper 360°.
During his own show on Monday, however, Carlson focused a segment on the chaos and destruction that has marred the otherwise peaceful protests — questioning Trump’s ability to aggressively respond to the rioting and looting in some cities, as he would prefer.
“When the mobs came, they abandoned us,” Carlson began the show. “The nation went up in flames this weekend. No one in charge stood up to save America.”
Carlson hardly spoke of the outrage following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis while in in police custody last week, after an officer knelt on his neck for minutes while he pleaded for air. Instead, Carlson wanted to talk about the people involved in destruction and looting. He called Trump’s response “the singular test of his presidency."
"The first requirement of leadership is that you watch over people in your care, it’s what voters demand from their president,” Carlson said. “But if you do not protect them, or worse, you seem like you can’t be bothered to protect them, then you’re done … people will not forgive weakness.”
Carlson, 51, also showed footage of Fox News reporter Leland Vittert, who was chased and shouted at by protestors near the White House this weekend.
“That was in Lafayette Square in the center of our capital city,” Carlson said. “If you can’t keep a Fox News correspondent from getting attacked directly across from your house, how can you protect my family? How are you going to protect the country? How hard are you trying?”
With the general election a mere five months away, Trump has doubled down on his “law and order” stance as a juxtaposition to rival and presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who he’s slammed as “weak, both mentally and physically.” He’s also seemed to relish the idea of violently suppressing protestors, tweeting over the weekend that the Secret Service could have unleashed “vicious dogs” on the crowd outside the White House.
The same night both Cooper and Carlson criticized him, the president, 73, addressed the protests from the White House Rose Garden, threatening to send the military into communities who didn’t corral people to his satisfaction.
He said he had instructed governors to "deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets."
Protests have erupted across the country following Floyd's death last week, with several large cities instituting curfews to try to curb the unrest.
Biden and other leaders, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, denounced Trump for what they said were inflammatory comments.
"Hate just hides. It doesn’t go away, and when you have somebody in power who breathes oxygen into the hate under the rocks, it comes out from under the rocks," Biden, 77, said at a meeting in Delaware with community leaders Monday morning.
Referring to Trump's trip to the church by the White House on Monday, the former vice president said, “I just wish he opened it [the Bible] once in a while instead of brandishing it."
"If he opened it, he could’ve learned something," Biden said in a speech on Tuesday. "We’re all called to love one another as we love ourselves. It’s really hard work, but it’s the work of America.”
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
•Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org), which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
•ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
•National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.