Tucker Carlson: Bush's truth-telling "is exactly what's needed around the world"

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

On MSNBC, Tucker Carlson claimed that "one of the few redeeming things about" Bush is his "bravado," because "telling the truth is exactly what's needed around the world." But Carlson himself has questioned the usefulness of Bush's "overconfidence" and the truthfulness of the Bush administration's rhetoric prior to the invasion of Iraq.

While discussing President Bush's foreign policy on the July 10 debut of MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson claimed that "one of the few redeeming things about" Bush is his "bravado," because "telling the truth is exactly what's needed around the world." However, Carlson himself has questioned the usefulness of Bush's "overconfidence" and the truthfulness of the Bush administration's rhetoric prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Introducing a discussion with Mike Papantonio, co-host of Air America Radio's Ring Of Fire, on Time magazine's July 17 cover story, "The End of Cowboy Diplomacy," Carlson stated: "Actually, President Bush's bravado is the best thing about him, one of the few redeeming things about him, in fact. Telling the truth is exactly what's needed around the world, particularly in places like Iran and North Korea."

But on the June 28 edition of MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson, Carlson questioned Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) about whether the Bush administration's assertions about Iraq's purported possession of weapons of mass destruction were properly scrutinized before the invasion. Carlson stated that "even thinking about ... the run-up to the war in Iraq is making me agitated."

From the June 28 edition of MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson:

CARLSON: Do you wish now, looking back three years, that the press had been a little more vigilant in asking questions about the invasion of Iraq during the run-up to it? Like, "Are we certain there are these WMD stockpiles that we're using the justify the war? How do you know that they're there? What exactly are you talking about, Mr. Powell, in your speech to the United Nations?"

Don't you wish the press had been a little tougher on the administration?

[...]

CARLSON: Anyway, I don't know. Congressman, I don't think we're going to solve this here. Just even thinking about that, thinking about the run-up to the war in Iraq is making me agitated, but I appreciate your point of view. And I appreciate your coming on.

Carlson also led a discussion on the March 1 edition of The Situation about a video showing President Bush being informed before Hurricane Katrina that New Orleans' levees could be overtopped. During the discussion, Carlson agreed with MSNBC contributor Flavia Colgan's assessment that the Bush administration has "a pattern that the rhetoric does not match the reality on the ground" and that Bush's "overconfidence stands in stark contrast to the dire warnings they were hearing." Carlson then stated: "My trust evaporated after no WMD were found."

From the March 1 edition of MSNBC's The Situation:

COLGAN: Look, there's plenty of blame to go around. And no one is trying to pin this on the president. But the fact is that that is man who -- you know, the Republican Party likes to posit itself as efficient government, as competency, as personal accountability. This is an administration, and it's a pattern. And that's what makes this video tough for them. It's a pattern that the rhetoric does not match the reality on the ground.

CARLSON: I agree.

COLGAN: His overconfidence stands in stark contrast to the dire warnings they were hearing. And this is a pattern, whether it's Iraq, and we're going to be greeted by flowers. And whether you like Bush or not, I have always said the strongest narrative against him is the fact that he's just not competent. And where you're going to see this creating problems --

CARLSON: This is a case where you're -- that's right.

COLGAN: Right. Things like Dubai and all these firestorms. Because guess what? He's not inoculated any more. They can't just keep saying, "Just trust us." The record has shown we can't, and he's going to have a lot of problems.

CARLSON: My trust evaporated after no WMD were found. That was kind of it for me. I hope to regain it again someday but haven't yet.

From the July 10 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:

CARLSON: That was our president in May of this year talking about toning down his war of words with the rest of the world. Now, Time magazine has a cover story this week blasting the White House for cowboy diplomacy. They say it like it's a bad thing.

Actually, President Bush's bravado is the best thing about him, one of the few redeeming things about him, in fact. Telling the truth is exactly what's needed around the world, particularly in places like Iran and North Korea.

Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Tucker Carlson
Show/Publication
Tucker
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