Fox News host Tucker Carlson tried to distance himself Tuesday from the white supremacist “great replacement” theory he’s peddled on his prime time show for years, before launching into a long rant about Democratic plots to encourage immigration to win elections, a key tenet of the conspiracy idea.
Carlson opened his program Tuesday denouncing the 18-year-old suspect accused of killing 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York last week. The man, Payton Gendron, is accused of targeting the store, which sits in a predominantly Black neighborhood, after posting a 180-page screed online featuring racist, white supremacist tropes. The document references extreme versions of what’s known as “replacement theory,” which baselessly claims powerful Democrats and others are plotting to replace white Americans with people of color through immigration policies.
But Carlson said Tuesday he’s still unsure what the conspiracy theory is.
“You’ve heard a lot about the great replacement theory recently, it’s everywhere … we’re still not sure exactly what it is,” the host said Tuesday. He quickly pivoted to accuse Democrats of touting immigration as a means to secure electoral victories. “Here’s what we do know for a fact: There’s a strong political component to the Democrats’ immigration theory. We know this because they have said so ... They say, out loud, ‘we are doing this because it helps us win elections.’”
“The Democratic Party has decided that rather than convince you, people who are born here, that their policies are helping you and making the country better and stronger, they will change the electorate,” Carlson went on, adding Democrats were “importing” people that would vote for them.
Democrats have directly pointed at Carlson in recent days for his role in promoting the great replacement idea. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on Fox News leadership to stop amplifying the racist idea, saying doing so was “reckless.”
“In a craven quest for viewers and ratings, organizations like Fox News have spent years perfecting the craft of stoking cultural grievance and political resentment that eerily mirrors the messages found in replacement theory,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday.