Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s economic policy ideas got rousing support Wednesday night from a startling source: conservative commentator Tucker Carlson.
“Yesterday, Warren released what she called her plan for economic patriotism. Amazingly, that’s pretty much what it is. Economic patriotism,” Carlson said, as part of a stunning monologue opening his Fox News show.
He praised the Massachusetts Democrat’s policy prescriptions and said many “make obvious sense.”
“She says the US government should buy American products when it can. And of course it should. She says we need more workplace apprenticeship programs because four-year college degrees aren’t right for everyone. Well, that’s true. She says that taxpayers ought to benefit from the research and development that they pay for,” Carlson said.
The praise is all the more surprising given the presidential candidate’s recent history with Carlson’s network.
Last month, Warren announced she was rejecting an invitation from Fox News to participate in a town hall with the network, denouncing the outlet as a “hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”
Warren said a town hall featuring Democratic presidential candidates “gives the Fox News sales team a way to tell potential sponsors it’s safe to buy ads on Fox – no harm to their brand or reputation (spoiler: it’s not).”
That rhetoric didn’t seem to bother Carlson on Wednesday.
He read large portions of Warren’s Medium post unveiling her economic policy plan, including: “We often see American companies take that research and use it to manufacture products overseas, like Apple did with the iPhone. The companies get rich, and American taxpayers have subsidized the creation of low-wage foreign jobs.”
“She sounds like Donald Trump at his best,” Carlson said.
Carlson read Warren’s words without mentioning her name first, and then said, “Let’s say you regularly vote Republican. Ask yourself – what part of the statement you just heard did you disagree with? Was there a single word that seemed wrong to you? Probably not.”
“Here’s the depressing part – nobody you voted for said that. Or would ever say it,” he said.
“Republicans in Congress can’t promise to protect American industries. They wouldn’t dare to do that. … They might make the Koch brothers mad. It might alienate the libertarian ideologues who to this day fund most Republican campaigns,” he said.
“So no, a Republican did not say that. Sadly. Instead, the words you just heard are from – and brace yourself here – Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. It’s true.”
Carlson’s biggest fans probably weren’t all that surprised. He often leads his nightly show with anti-elitist essays and frequently expresses criticism of runaway free-market capitalism.
He said there is no mention of “identity politics” in her proposal or “hysterics about gun control or climate change” or “lecture about the plight of transgender illegal immigrants.”
“It’s just pure, old-fashioned economics,” Carlson said. “How to preserve good-paying, American jobs.”
Carlson said if the GOP had “bothered to learn” the lessons of the 2016 presidential election, “Republicans in Congress would regularly be saying things like this: ‘I’m deeply grateful for the opportunities America has given me. But the giant “American” corporations who control our economy don’t seem to feel the same way. They certainly don’t act like it.’ “
He continued to read from Warren’s post, “‘Sure, these companies wave the flag – but they have no loyalty or allegiance to America.’”