Tucker Carlson, the conservative firebrand and host of Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” will host the first GOP presidential forum on Friday, July 15th in Iowa. The forum will feature one-on-one conversations between Carlson and leading GOP candidates, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
“Blaze Media is teaming up with THE FAMiLY LEADER to bring you the first presidential forum of the 2024 Republican Primary season, hosted by Tucker Carlson,” the media company said in a statement. “We’ll be live streaming this event all day Friday, July 14th on BlazeTV and the BlazeTV YouTube channel.”
A spokesperson for Trump said the former president would not be attending because of a “scheduling conflict” involving a speech Trump is supposed to give at the Turning Point Action conference, which is near Mar-a-Lago, on Saturday or Sunday.
Trump attacked popular Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on social media this week, she is a key Republican figure who could have a significant impact on who ends up winning the state in January.
“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won,” Trump claimed in a post. “Now, she wants to remain ‘NEUTRAL.’ I don’t invite her to events!”
The New York Times noted in a report this week that “there is no politician in Iowa with greater sway than Ms. Reynolds, 63, who has overseen her party’s swelling state legislative majorities with an approval rating among Republicans near 90 percent.”
The forum is being organized by the Family Leader, a conservative Christian organization, and Blaze Media, a conservative news outlet. The event will be held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
Trump’s absence from the forum is notable, as he is still the most popular figure in the Republican Party. His decision not to participate could be seen as a sign that he is not yet ready to commit to running for president again.
It is also worth noting that the forum is being held in Iowa, which is a key early primary state. Trump won Iowa in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, and he is likely to be a major contender in the state again in 2024.
JUST IN: Tucker Carlson to host the first GOP Presidential forum of 2024 on Friday, July 14th.
Will you be tuning in? 🙋🏻♂️https://t.co/xyBTk2YRjN
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸🦅 (@ProudElephantUS) July 11, 2023