Fox News host Tucker Carlson reveled on Tuesday evening after watching Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) fail to secure enough votes in the House to win the Speaker’s gavel.
“The fact that this race has not been settled by now is being described by many, especially online, as embarrassing,” Carlson said as he opened his nightly program. “And it is embarrassing if you prefer the Soviet-style consensus of the Democratic Party’s internal elections. … That’s what they do. But if you prefer democracy to oligarchy, if you prefer real debate about issues that actually matter, it’s pretty refreshing to see it.”
“Yes, it’s a little chaotic,” Carlson continued. “But this is what it is supposed to be.”
McCarthy’s bid to become the next House Speaker failed in three consecutive votes after a number of hard-line conservative Republicans refused to support him.
After McCarthy failed to secure the 218 votes he needed for a third time on Tuesday evening, Republican leaders adjourned the chamber, putting off the process until Wednesday.
Carlson, one of the most influential voices in conservative media who commands a captive audience of millions each weeknight, has a history of attacking McCarthy and other Republican leaders in Congress who he has deemed not sufficiently conservative.
“McCarthy is not especially conservative,” Carlson said on Tuesday. “He is in fact ideologically agnostic. He’s flexible. His real constituency is the lobbying community in Washington, so if you’ve got sincere political beliefs, that is infuriating to watch.”
Carlson did acknowledge what he perceived as McCarthy’s advantages.
“It’s not easy to be Speaker when the House is this closely divided, and in some ways Kevin McCarthy is perfectly suited for that,” he said. “And critically McCarthy is willing to spend the next two years living in hotel rooms raising money for his party ahead of a historic presidential election. What other Republican in the House is willing to do that?”
In April, the host mocked McCarthy, saying he sounds like “an MSNBC contributor” following discrepancies between public remarks he made about Big Tech and complaints he made in private about the social media activity of his own members.
A year earlier, Carlson attacked the then-House minority leader over his ties to longtime GOP pollster Frank Luntz.