This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," January 20, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening and welcome to "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
We've got breaking news this hour from Richmond, Virginia. Just like days of confident predictions to the contrary from chin-tuggers on the tube, nothing especially dramatic happened there today. Nothing is on fire. Nobody died.
A group of Americans rally to defend their constitutional rights and did not start a war in the process, the national media are reeling in confusion tonight. Once again it turns out they know next to nothing about the country they supposedly cover.
In last fall's elections, as you may remember, Virginia turned from red to blue. Democrats in the state, newly ascendant, responded to the demands of donors in New York and LA and immediately set about trying to undo hundreds of years of precedent on gun laws and effectively nullify the Second Amendment in Virginia.
Well, this morning, thousands of Virginians marched peacefully at the state capitol to protest this as attack on their rights. Under some circumstances, a demonstration to protect the Constitution would be considered virtuous. Civil disobedience they often tell us, it's what democracy is supposed to look like.
But needless to say, they don't mean it. Instead of congratulating the protesters, the left suggested they were engaged in some form of terrorism. "Prospect of gun control and Virginia draws threats, promise of armed protest," read the ominous warning in "The Washington Post."
"Richmond braces for white supremacist militias at gun rally," said Axios.
According to a Web site called Raw Story, "Authorities fear Richmond gun rally could be the next Charlottesville."
Well, on television, the chirpy morning shows being wholly dependent on left-wing Web sites to tell them what to think obediently parroted the party line. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: State of emergency. Richmond, Virginia on high alert this morning bracing for violence as thousands descend for a gun rights rally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Richmond, Virginia is on high alert this morning before a gun rights rally that local authorities fear could turn violent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police in Virginia bracing for a massive crowd at a gun rights rally today, amid fears it will attract white supremacists and turned violent. This morning what officials are doing to avoid another Charlottesville.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: State of emergency. White supremacists. Keep in mind that the protesters in Richmond were protesting a Governor who has admitted to wearing a racist costume, and for their trouble, they were denounced as bigots.
NBC News reporter Ben Collins described the demonstration as, "a white nationalist rally." He warned other reporters that they repeated things they heard from local police otherwise known as reporting, they could play into, "Neo-Nazi hands." That's what you get for protesting Governor Blackface. You're a Neo-Nazi.
Over at MSNBC, meanwhile, they made the whole thing sound like the world's scariest Klan rally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, thousands of gun rights activists, white nationalists, militia groups all swarming the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.
AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: This is the last thing we need in an era where we're seeing hate crimes on the increase, and where we see even though it's pro-gun activists that are throwing to rally, these outside militia groups and Neo-Nazis coming into it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And coming up, calling for calm, Virginia residents praying that today's rally at the State Capitol is not a repeat of the horrible 2017 Charlottesville disaster, the rally that ended in a young woman's death, as white nationalists and gun rights activists take to the streets today again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Just Neo-Nazi swarming the State Capitol in Richmond, just another day in America. They're very concerned about it.
Let's be honest, do you really think NBC feared violence in Richmond? Or is it possible that some in the media looked forward to the prospect of it? What better than a violent protest to justify immediate gun confiscation?
You can imagine actually that some in the press already had tomorrow's columns pre-written. Yesterday's nightmare in Richmond shows why the Second Amendment must be abolished. Perfect. That's how dishonest they are.
Thankfully, in the end, nothing happened as we said. Thousands of law- abiding gun owners did what they usually do, they abided by the law.
By late afternoon, "The Washington Post" live blog of the event was reduced to mentioning that thousands of attendees were cheering, "fiery speeches." That's what they call ideas they don't approve of.
But honestly, who's really surprised that it all turned out fine? Every year the March for Life brings hundreds of thousands of highly impassioned activists to Washington. But when was the last time one of them torched a Starbucks? Let's see. Never.
So why was the left so quick to presume that Richmond would descend into violence? Well, as so often the case, almost always the case, its projection.
What the left accuses you of doing, they are in fact, enthusiastically doing themselves. How many times have conservatives rioted at a university over a speaker they didn't like? Again, zero times.
And yet violence and intimidation are common when anyone to the right of Joe Biden tries to speak on campus. Meanwhile, leftwing protests routinely turn into riots, which the press obscures from view with its favorite euphemism, mostly peaceful.
In August of 2018, for example, Portland Police came under attack by hurled objects and a chemical agent and had to respond with flash grenades. "The Oregonians" headline that day, "Protest converge in Portland, but remain mostly peaceful."
In 2015, NBC News ran this headline, "Shots fired in Ferguson after mostly peaceful Michael Brown anniversary." The year before, "Newsweek" went with this one, "Dozens arrested in mostly peaceful Ferguson protests."
Here's hoping your next office Christmas party isn't "mostly peaceful." It's all pretty dishonest, but it's also predictable because there is an agenda at work, an identifiable one. It never changes. The left's goal always and everywhere is to increase its own power while taking power away from you.
The media coverage of Richmond had a very specific point. It was designed to lay the groundwork for stripping you of your constitutional rights. A disarmed population is a helpless and dependent population. That's why the founders wrote the Second Amendment in the first place. They left no confusion about that, and the left knows it. And that's why they oppose the Second Amendment.
It's not about public safety, please. These are the same people opening our borders and emptying our prisons. They don't care about public safety. It's about power, and it's only about power. Remember that.
Julio Rosas is a Senior Writer at Townhall. He was actually in Richmond today. He saw what happened first and he joins us tonight on the set. Julio, thanks so much for coming on. What did you see? You've covered a lot of Antifa protests in Portland, for example. How would you compare what you saw today to that?
JULIO ROSAS, SENIOR WRITER, TOWNHALL: It's a night and day difference. You know, this event was advertised as this supposedly you know, white supremacist Nazi rally and me, being of Mexican heritage, I had zero issue with anybody coming up to me saying what are you doing here? Whereas opposed to Portland, I was called -- I was called a race traitor. I've been called a whole bunch of other things that I can't repeat on air.
CARLSON: For covering?
ROSAS: For the simple act of just doing my job of just reporting on what was happening, and Antifa has time and time again, has approached me and has physical threats, verbal insults, so it was a night and day difference.
CARLSON: So no one was injured today, we know. But did they torch any stores? Did they loot a CVS for example, during today's protest?
ROSAS: No. I went to the CVS that was right by the State Capitol and there was a nice orderly line of people just buying things.
CARLSON: Really? The gun owners didn't loot CVS?
ROSAS: No. And they have the ability to if they really wanted to, but these are law-abiding citizens.
CARLSON: So it wasn't just "mostly peaceful." It sounds like it was entirely peaceful.
ROSAS: Entirely peaceful. Absolutely. And, you know, there's all these people were saying again, they wanted as the white supremacists saying, there weren't really any minorities there.
Well, I can definitively say that the only minorities there were the racists, because for every Confederate flag that I saw, there were dozens of American flags. For every, you know, possible racist I saw, there were hundreds of minorities there. They were armed.
CARLSON: So it sounds like they were lying to us about what this was.
ROSAS: It was all hyped and as you said earlier in the show, you know, you could definitely see and I could see it time and time again, if it did descend into violence, people would then just point and say, hey, you know, this is why we can't have AR-15s. But there were plenty of AR-15 there and no one was shot.
CARLSON: Do you think that the networks tomorrow morning will concede that they basically made it up?
CARLSON: No, they won't. They won't admit that they were wrong, that they had no idea what this would be?
ROSAS: I've covered the media for quite some time since I've started working on journalism, and I was at Charlottesville, actually, that was one of the first events that I covered.
And to see the comparisons to that video, this could be another Charlottesville is quite frankly insulting because I was pepper sprayed three times there and it was absolute chaos. It was absolute anarchy. Now, mostly because the police didn't do that great of a job.
And so it was not at all comparable and the fact that the media kept saying Charlottesville over and over, invoking those strong emotions that are attributed to that tragic event that you know, that led to the death of Heather Heyer is really insulting.
CARLSON: So really quick, when was the last -- since you cover this stuff for a living -- when was the last time you're aware of that rightwing protesters set fire to anything or looted a CVS?
ROSAS: None that I can think of. The only thing I can really point to is the proud boys having their rallies in Portland and here in D.C., and you know, they're out there trying to be provocative and stuff like that, and that's why people -- that's why Antifa comes out and stuff like that.
But in terms of just regular gun owners, like we saw today, it was a very peaceful event.
CARLSON: Yes. I don't remember them burning anything. That's interesting. It's lying. That's the only conclusion I can reach and I appreciate your firsthand account.
ROSAS: Thank you very much.
CARLSON: Julio, great to see you.
ROSAS: Thank you.
CARLSON: Well, Governor Blackface's gun control measures will make Virginia's laws a lot more like those of its northern neighbor, the State of Maryland. Now, here's an interesting stat for those of you keeping track -- who care.
In Virginia, right now, the murder rate is 5.4 per hundred thousand. In the State of Maryland, which has stricter gun control laws, it's nearly twice that, it's 10.2 per hundred thousand. So you do the math.
Colion Noir is a Second Amendment advocate and a frequent guest on the show. We're happy to see him. Colion, thanks so much for coming on.
Just quickly to the politics of it. Here you have a Governor caught wearing blackface or a Klan robe, he hasn't told us which, and he immediately shifts into gun-grabbing mode. And you've got to kind of wonder, maybe this is a diversion or am I cynical?
COLION NOIR, SECOND AMENDMENT ADVOCATE: No, you're not cynical. It actually happens pretty consistently. Anytime, when it comes to these politicians who are anti-gun, when it comes to talking about issues that they're either not doing that well on or things that they just don't want to address, they always pivot to gun control, because they see it as one of the easiest things to talk about because they like to frame it under the guise of all of these crazy gun owners out here, we've got to get the guns off the streets.
The irony is, when they talk about gun control, where do you think they're going to implement these laws the most? They're going to implement them in the minority cities. So, they like to bring up the idea in the issue of race and how all of these white supremacist gun owners are going to come and start shooting people.
Yet, the people most affected by these gun control laws are the very people that they're trying to manipulate to not exercise their rights.
CARLSON: That's interesting. And can you think of another case where an explicit assault on an explicit constitutional right on a point and number two in the Bill of Rights where that would be described as terror? Protest against something described as terrorism? I mean, why aren't these people being lionized as heroes for defending the Bill of Rights?
NOIR: You would think that would be the case, but for some reason, and I've been doing this for almost 15 years now, being a 2A advocate. You think that it'd be celebrated, but for some reason, out of all the constitutional rights that we have, the most important one is the one that's most vilified in this country, and it's baffling to me.
CARLSON: It is baffling especially since this law, this specific suite of laws in Virginia seems aimed at rural gun owners where the crime rate is like effectively zero, violent crime rate.
So there's not actually a threat to be stopped. It almost seems like these laws are a provocation. In fact, they are a purely a provocation into people who don't vote Democrat.
NOIR: No, absolutely. I guarantee you, they would have considered it a homerun, if at this rally today that some type of balance of some sort broke out. I guarantee you.
CARLSON: So what should we think of that if our leaders in the Statehouse in Virginia, on television in New York, LA and Washington, if they're, in effect pushing violent confrontation on the country with, what should we conclude from that?
NOIR: Well, we can conclude that these gun control laws, all of these measures have nothing to do with actual safety. It has nothing to do with saving lives. It is about accumulation of power and control. That's all this is about, and it's always been that way.
CARLSON: Right. So we did a couple of years ago, a segment on MS-13 in Virginia, which is actually fairly powerful in Virginia. That's not an opinion. Law enforcement has all the stats on it. And we were denounced as bigots for pointing out that there is a gang that killed El Salvadoran immigrants in Virginia.
So like, if you really cared about public safety, wouldn't you be upset about MS-13?
NOIR: Yes, you absolutely would, if that was the case that you were actually worried about saving lives, which you don't. The whole point is to create an environment of chaos, so that we're forced to depend on them completely and wholly for our safety.
CARLSON: Thank you for pointing out the obvious.
NOIR: When you are a firearm owner, you don't --
CARLSON: No, finish that sentence, please. Because --
NOIR: When you own a firearm, and you are a citizen that owns a firearm, you don't completely and wholly depend on the government for your own safety. You've now empowered yourself and taking your safety into your own hands.
Well, if I'm part of a party or in the government that wants to accumulate more power, I have to somehow find a way to take away that power from you, so you're forced to depend on me more because if I don't, then I lose power.
CARLSON: Right. Kind of like if you take men out of the home, people will become more dependent on government, kind of like that.
NOIR: Touche, Tucker.
CARLSON: It kind of works that way. Yes. Okay. Colion Noir, great to see you. Thank you so much.
NOIR: Absolutely. Thanks for having me again.
CARLSON: We're exactly a year out from the next presidential inauguration, 12 months from today. Will Donald Trump be re-inaugurated or not? The answer has everything to do on who's got a better plan for the country. You'll find out what that plan is, after the break.
CARLSON: A year from today, we will be hosting this show from the National Mall as the next President of the United States takes the oath of office. Will that President be Donald Trump?
Well, as of tonight, Republicans in Washington feel confident that it will be. The official economic numbers are strong. The Democratic primaries are a freak show. Elderly socialists accusing each other of thought crimes. Republicans are starting to think that victory is assured, and that's a mistake.
America remains as divided as it was three years ago. So no matter what happens, nobody is going to win this election in a national landslide. Those don't happen anymore. Trump could lose, will he lose? Well, that depends entirely on what he runs on.
In 2016, Donald Trump defeated more than a dozen Republicans and then Hillary Clinton by running as an insurgent, a man from outside the system flipping the bird to the elites within.
Virtually everything Trump said reinforced that message. The people who run this country are clueless, they have no idea what they're doing. They don't care about you. They've hollowed out our economy, crushed the middle class. They've screwed up our foreign policy. They left the door open on our southern border. They are children playing leadership and they've gotten rich doing it.
The result is a national catastrophe. Now, Trump's campaign summed up that message in a single phrase, Make America Great Again. In other words, let's not lie to ourselves, this is a disaster. The good news is, we can fix it.
Now, the people in charge hated to hear that, of course, because it implicated them. But voters responded, they knew it was true. By the way, it's still true today. Things are a lot better in a lot of ways, but they're not fixed.
Consider the state of the economy, the big numbers, unemployment and inflation, to name two tell one story and it's a good story. But dig a little deeper. A Pew poll from this fall provides a glimpse of what is actually happening in a lot of parts of the country.
In that survey, 56 percent of Americans said the economy was excellent or good, and that's good news. But then there was this, only 31 percent of the economy was helping them and their families, just 32 percent thought the current economy was helping the middle class, 58 percent thought the opposite.
Among lower income Republicans, 47 percent said economic conditions were hurting them. Just 30 percent said they were helping.
Now keep in mind, these aren't sociology professors from the Oberlin faculty lounge. This is the President's core, it's his base. Why do they feel that way? It's not personal. It's just really simple.
For a lot of middle class people, wages are not keeping pace with expenses. Child care, housing, education, healthcare, they're all getting more expensive by the year. The student loan bubble is still inflating. It's burdening young people with debts so large, they can't start families.
Now, these are economic problems, but they require a political solution. The candidate who makes it easier for 30 year olds to get married and have kids will win the election and will deserve to win. Remember that. It's truer than any economic theory conceived on any college campus in the last hundred years.
Improve people's lives and they will vote for you. Period. Republicans ought to write that on our hands, otherwise, the temptation will be to focus entirely on the lunacy on display on the left right now.
Democrats have gone crazy, and it's definitely worth pointing that out repeatedly. We do it five nights a week. But it's not enough to win.
Winning candidates come with their own program. They convince voters they will make things better.
Bernie Sanders may get the Democratic nomination, and if he does, every Republican in Washington will spend the next 10 months reminding you that socialism does not work and never has worked. And they'll be right, obviously.
But if Sanders pledges to forgive student loans, he will still win many thousands of voters who went for Donald Trump last time. Why? Because debt is crushing an entire generation of Americans. Republicans need to make a plan to make it better or they will be left behind.
And one more piece of advice, don't ignore the social issues. The Republican establishment despises this conversation. If it's not about tax rates, they don't want to talk about it. But normal people know the social fabric is coming apart.
A winning candidate will say that out loud, defend traditional values. Don't be embarrassed about it. There's nothing embarrassing about it. Democrats are waging the most aggressive possible campaign against everything normal people think is virtuous.
They are promising to undo our justice system, emptying our prisons, even as they undermine the police and strip you have the right to defend yourself. They're openly inviting chaos.
They want to give the vote to convicted felons, even murderers. They've said that. They think so little of this country that they're pledging to open our borders to the world. Every impoverished nation on Earth welcomed her for free healthcare paid for by you.
They're opposed to free speech. They're stridently for subsidized abortion up to the moment of birth. They want Americans sorted into creepy little categories by their DNA. Judged, rewarded, punished on the basis of their sex and skin color.
They don't simply deny the existence of biological sex. They're trying to force you to deny it, too. You'll be fired if you disagree or have your kids taken from you.
Democrats aren't promising change. They are promising revolution. Centuries of American history and custom, abolished. A nation starting over from scratch, year zero. That's effectively what they're calling for, and most people are not for that.
They may be frustrated with the state of the country, many are. They may be anxious about the future, but they don't hate America. They don't want to topple George Washington and implement Maoism.
They are conservative in the most basic sense. They love their families, above all. They distrust radical theories of anything, because they know and they're right, that when the world turns upside down, ordinary people get hurt.
They don't want to burn it down, they just want things to get better. The candidate who promises to make them better, incrementally, but tangibly will be inaugurated President a year from today.
Well, "The New York Times" delivered its widely non-anticipated Democratic primary endorsement last night -- or endorsements. Wait until you see who they picked. We'll be right back.
CARLSON: Well, if 2016 proved anything, it's that not all that many Americans still at newspapers tell them what to think. That is news that has not filtered down to "The New York Times" which despite the fact everyone thinks it's a joke, and it's aimed at three zip codes in Manhattan, still feels obligated to weigh in with an endorsement of the Democratic primary like anyone cares.
We will dutifully tell you what they said though. "The Times" couldn't do it. When the time came to deliver the announcement, the paper endorsed two candidates, which really is the same as endorsing zero.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are breaking with convention and putting our support behind not one, but two candidates. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. Each of whom articulates a different path forward.
Senator Warren is a gifted storyteller and a brilliant architect of regulation. Senator Klobuchar has a lengthy resume in the Senate and bipartisan credentials that make her an invaluable dealmaker.
And voters should consider them the party's strongest candidates.
May the best woman win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: The fraught voiceover, the dramatic music, tinkling of piano keys. Who cares? It was hilarious. Where "The New York Times" actually described Senator Warren as a gifted storyteller. Unbelievable.
Richard Goodstein is a lawyer. He once advised Bill and Hillary Clinton for example. He knows a lot about politics. He joins us tonight. Richard, that's so catty. I cannot believe they -- I mean, how underhanded is it for "The New York Times," with a totally straight face to describe Elizabeth Warren, the fake Indian as a gifted storyteller. Do you think she understands it was an attack?
RICHARD GOODSTEIN, FORMER ADVISER TO BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON: Well, the fact is, if you read that endorsement, there were as many negative things said about Elizabeth Warren as positive.
I actually think that The New York Time is like a lot of Democratic voters, they can't decide what they think.
GOODSTEIN: And that's not such a bad thing at this stage of the game. I will say, it could have been a lot worse for Joe Biden had they actually come down firmly for one or the other. That probably would have not been a good day for Biden.
As it was, he got his selfie on the elevator, I don't know if you saw it with this African-American woman who said I love you and this is on his way up to get the interview with "The New York Times."
CARLSON: Was she a "Times" employee, by the way?
GOODSTEIN: I don't know.
CARLSON: She is one of their national political reporters probably, right?
GOODSTEIN: I don't know if she is running the elevators on the side. But the fact of the matter is, we know that endorsements don't matter all that much in this day and age. If you're running against elites, that's probably not something that you want to have and just ask Chris Christie who got the Manchester Union Leader endorsement in 2016 how much weight that carried.
CARLSON: But the Manchester Union Leader didn't over produce some trickly video about how important the moment is. I mean, it's also lacking in self- awareness, and at times, a joke and everyone knows it. But have you fallen for it? Are you now -- they've endorsed Klobuchar, are you now Klobucharian?
GOODSTEIN: I'm for a Democrat. I'm all about the electability thing, I will confess. And I see Joe Biden, still, I would say, to the surprise of a lot of people still running appreciably stronger against Donald Trump than any other Democrat and beating Trump in states that Trump won: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, even Florida, and not losing to Trump in any state that Hillary won. So that to me if I'm a Democrat, carries a lot of weight.
CARLSON: Yes. And there's a reason for that because African-American voters support him because African-American voters are the most moderate group in the Democratic Party.
GOODSTEIN: You'd probably say that, you know it, I know it. I think a lot of people don't know it, it's true. It's undeniable.
CARLSON: No, that's literally true. It's single white liberals who are radical and scary in my opinion. But let me ask you about Bernie, so they didn't endorse Bernie, they hate Bernie, the whole Democratic establishment hates Bernie. I'm not for Bernie, obviously.
However, you've got to kind of wonder if CNN and "The New York Times" are out to kill Bernie. Does that make Bernie stronger because it does look like the fix is in again? I'm dead serious here.
GOODSTEIN: Yes, well first of all, I don't think there was a fix in he lost by millions of votes. This complaint about --
CARLSON: They rigged it.
GOODSTEIN: That is nauseating.
GOODSTEIN: That was shameful.
CARLSON: Did you see the CNN debate? What they're doing to Bernie? It made me sympathetic to Bernie, it was that bad.
GOODSTEIN: I'm just saying, that the fact he is still carrying this rig notion after 2016 that he lost by millions and millions of votes is shameful.
And look at the Iowa poll came out today, it had Biden ahead at 24. Bernie is at fourth. Now again, who knows what's going to happen in Iowa? All I'm saying is there was this bullet, Bernie recovered from his heart attack and you know he is coming on and I'm not so sure that's holding up.
CARLSON: You had to get the heart attack in there, didn't you?
GOODSTEIN: Well --
CARLSON: And we wish him well, but his heart attack --
GOODSTEIN: He looks healthy. What can I say?
CARLSON: But really, only Jeff Zucker could make Bernie Sanders appealing. You don't think that happened?
GOODSTEIN: I don't know that that was by design. I really don't. I don't think that he is trying to appeal to CNN voters. I don't think -- look, Jeff Zucker presumably wants the House and the Senate, I'm guessing to be controlled by Democrats, having Bernie Sanders at the top of the ticket is a single thing that could keep that from happening.
CARLSON: Totally. You're totally right. Jeff Zucker is a good party man. He's doing whatever the apparatus wants. I just think it's going to backfire. That's -- you know, but who knows. Great to see tonight.
GOODSTEIN: Thanks for having me back.
CARLSON: Well, the U.S. Senate will hold the first hearings on President Trump's impeachment trial tomorrow. Even now, though, several important questions remain unresolved. How many witnesses will be called? Will the trial be brief? Or will it be long? And most importantly, where's Hunter Biden? And will he testify?
To help us figure out what we can expect from this sham and absurd trial, we're joined by Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida, who was neither absurd nor a sham. Great to see you tonight, Congressman. What do we know about this? Since you're right in the middle of it, what can we expect?
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): We learned from Mitch McConnell's resolution that he really intends to ripen a motion to dismiss as fast as possible.
You know, the Senate potentially taking a vote on such a motion at the end of this week or beginning of next week is like lightning speed for the United States Senate.
Let's remember, this is the same body that prides itself on institutional lethargy. I think they took hundreds of days to confirm the Ambassador to Morocco. So the fact that in a matter of days or weeks, we could ripen a motion to dismiss I think is indicative of progress.
You're going to see 12-hour days, we expect that will go six days a week, and so the session will be in high octane for the United States Senate, and it's my hope that will push through that and have that motion to dismiss and get through this national nightmare as fast as possible.
CARLSON: Are we going to see Hunter Biden or any of the other Biden relatives who may or may not have gotten rich from their connections with the former Vice President?
GAETZ: my concern, my concern is that if we have a witness exchange program, there is no way we're going to get the witnesses we really want, but the Democrats will get the witnesses they really want. That's really what's actually happening here.
You have the establishment in the Republican and Democratic Party working against the populist wings of both. You have establishment Republicans like Mitt Romney ...
CARLSON: That was my question.
... working against Donald Trump. And then I think you have establishment Democrats working against Bernie Sanders. They're trying to give Joe Biden the field in Iowa, keep Bernie locked up in the United States Senate during this impeachment trial. And so that's just how Washington works, trying to keep the populists at bay on every side of the political spectrum.
CARLSON: That is fascinating. You really think that the Democrats in the Senate -- I just want you to restate this to make sure I got it right -- are trying to prevent Bernie Sanders from leaving Washington, trying to keep him here in the cage, so he won't do well in Iowa?
GAETZ: Look, Bernie has got momentum in Iowa, and it's not ridiculous to say that the Democratic Party in its organized way would try to deprive Bernie Sanders the nomination. They literally just did this years ago when he was running against Hillary Clinton.
And now I think that really this is an effort of the establishment of both parties to keep this charade of impeachment going on as long as possible, because it is empowering to the establishment to sort of have all this focus on the Senate, rather than have Bernie campaigning in Iowa, and the President running on a phenomenal economic record, a better trade posture with China, a better trade posture in North America, all the things that he promised to deliver on for the American people.
CARLSON: I wonder -- do they see it though -- they are short term gains and you just explained what they are. But long term? I mean, they're kind of allowing their own institution to rot, aren't they?
I mean, if impeachment becomes a precedent that you invoke when someone annoys you, that doesn't empower any of our institutions doesn't it?
GAETZ: Well, it's very illuminating to look at what the Articles actually say. When you talk about abuse of power, obstruction of Congress, these are purposefully amorphous terms, so that you can see the very same politics played out through the new tool of impeachment.
Unfortunately, that is the new normal that the radical left has brought us to, but it's not about any constitutional crisis. It's about their thirst and bloodlust for power.
CARLSON: It always is. Ill-temperament, bad table manners. Look for those charges in future administrations. Congressman, great to see you tonight. Thank you.
GAETZ: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: American politics is getting more divisive and more unpleasant. Why is that happening? Why do the things you keep voting for never happen? A brand new book explains why. Fascinating.
Plus even Meghan Markle's father is attacking her over splitting with the Royal Family. We're covering the story, can't help it. More just ahead.
CARLSON: So here's a trend you may have noticed. You vote for something and it doesn't happen. You wonder. We vote for it again and all your neighbors vote for it, then you read a poll saying the majority of the country is in favor of it.
But again, it doesn't happen and this continues for say 30 years. And after you get frustrated and the country gets more volatile. How is this happening? Is our democracy real?
The smartest book I have read literally in years, it's coming out today. It's called "The Age of Entitlement" and it explains exactly what's going on. It's written by Chris Caldwell, one of the smartest people around, an opinion writer for "The New York Times" and he joins us on set.
Chris, great to see you.
CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL, OPINION WRITER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: So that's the question, people are starting to think that democracy is not real because ideas that have majority support are ignored consistently. What is happening?
CALDWELL: Well, it's a little bit complicated. I'd say it's kind of an unintended consequence of a good thing, of the Civil Rights laws of the 1960s, which did away with segregation.
Now, segregation, as you know, it's a big problem. It's our unique -- it's our great problem in our history.
CARLSON: The original sin of America.
CALDWELL: Yes, that's right. And it defied solution. How did we break it in the 1960s? We did it by giving Washington powers that it had had never had before in peacetime, right? It could, you know, it could overturn court verdicts. It could invalidate election laws. It could sue companies. It could break institutions. It was a really, really ruthless set of tools. And in the end, it worked.
CARLSON: It did work and I'll just pause by saying most people would say that's a good thing. I mean, that was awful. You don't want that.
CALDWELL: That's right.
CARLSON: And we ended it, and good for us.
CALDWELL: Absolutely. Okay. Here's the problem. It's that when legal segregation ended, these very powerful tools used to overturn it did not and in fact, they intensified.
And you've got things that that were not even in the original Civil Rights Bills like affirmative action, as we understand it now. Busing of school children that spread. You had busing in Louisville and Boston.
So suddenly this reform that people thought of as confined to the, you know, the segregation of South was nationwide. But here's the key thing and here's where democracy comes in.
It spread even away from segregation and even away from race. So in the 60s and 70s, you had all sorts of people sort of wanting rights and recognition.
You know, you had women wanting to be admitted to men's clubs. You had Hispanics who wanted to cast their ballots in Spanish, and when they brought forward these claims, they did not say -- they were often too impatient to wait for a vote. They said, no, my rights are being abused.
It's kind of like what was happening to the people in the south, and I don't want to wait for a vote. I want immediate action. I want that system you used to break segregation in the south.
So you had a new system that gradually took over larger and larger parts of American life. It was like a second Constitution that could be used to override what you'd call the democratic.
CARLSON: So we're presented with one half of this, which is the ends are good, like this is good, we like the outcome. But what you're saying is the process put in place to achieve that outcome basically makes democracy itself impossible. So all of a sudden, everything is achieved this way.
CALDWELL: That's what -- more and more gets achieved this way. And as the years went on, you can sort of see this transformation. I mean, in the 1980s, you had an obvious instance, you had the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which was supposed to be a grand compromise that would regulate a big crisis in the country.
You had on the one hand, you had amnesty for several million migrants. But on the other hand, you had severe penalties for people who hired illegal migration, so it was supposed to solve the problem.
The problem was that asking migrants, whether they were legal or whether they were born in Mexico turned out to violate their Civil Rights. So you couldn't do it. It was actually more dangerous for employers to enforce this law than it was to disobey it.
CARLSON: So we passed a law that couldn't be enforced?
CALDWELL: Half of it could be enforced. The amnesty could be enforced. But the anti-immigration part could not be enforced, and that's why people are so suspicious of immigration bills in general.
CARLSON: So what effect does this have on the country? If you believe that the country is calm, stable, and therefore prosperous, we have all those things we built on the base of that stability. If people start to suspect that they don't have any control over their lives, someone they didn't vote for is going to decide for them by fiat. What effect does that have on the society?
CALDWELL: Well, it seems it has a different effect on two halves of the society and I think it really explains a lot of our polarization. Okay, if you have -- I mean, if you're a beneficiary of this new expansion of rights, okay, let's say you're a gay in a couple who can now get married.
CALDWELL: Well, then this is wonderful. And in fact, if you're a progressive in general, I mean, this is wonderful and the fact that it's not democratically arrived at may not matter so much.
But if you're -- if you're not a beneficiary of this or if you're conservatively inclined about any of these institutions, it looks less good.
CARLSON: So basically people who you never voted for telling you what to do, there's literally nothing you can do about it. And so you get angrier and angrier, like people like Donald Trump, or whomever because you're really frustrated.
CALDWELL: But there's another thing that's activating anger, too. And that is in order to -- in order to use this rights-based system rather than the voting based system, you need to convince the government that there's some historic emergency going on, some terrible abuse, that someone is behaving wickedly in the same way that the southern segregationists and the southern sheriffs were.
And increasingly, that role of like official wicked person gets played by people who defend ordinary American institutions.
CARLSON: So you have the sort of permanent bureaucracy at war with its own people, with the public.
CALDWELL: That's the way it feels to half the country.
CARLSON: It does. It feels that way to me. This is a really smart book, and I would recommend it to all of our viewers, Christopher Caldwell. Thank you so much for this.
CALDWELL: Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Britain's Royal Family is melting down. Prince Harry, taking responsibility for this. We're covering the Royals because it's actually kind of interesting. More after the break.
CARLSON: If you can control the word someone is allowed to use, you can control the thoughts people are allowed to have and that's why the left tries to control your language. That's why they call a riot in Portland mostly peaceful. One entirely peaceful march in Richmond is creeping fascism.
But here's an even better example, in California now, by law, they're no longer any at-risk young people. They've solved it, they've solved it, but they changed the words why? Because the label at-risk is offensive.
Instead, under a new law that just took effect, at-risk has been abolished instead. At-risk children in the state schools or juvenile justice system are now called at-promise.
What does that even mean? You ask. You tell, us, young people who are troubled at-promise of falling into drug addiction or a life of crime? And really how to swapping out a phrase everyone understands for a phrase that nobody can even make out make anything better?
Of course it doesn't by definition, it obfuscates rather than clarifies. But in California you shouldn't be surprised. Leaders there banned straws, while crime surges and housing costs suffocate the middle class, because symbolic gestures are the only ones they're willing to make anymore.
Of course, Britain's Royal Family hasn't wielded actual powerful for a while, but they did least provide a dignified backdrop to a country.
Now, it may not even give them that. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to step away from the Royal Family. Many are mad about this, including it turns out Meghan Markle's own father. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS MARKLE, MEGHAN MARKLE'S FATHER: This is like one of the greatest long, long living institutions ever. They're destroying it. They're cheapening it. They're making it shabby. They're turning into a Walmart with a crown on it now. It's not -- it's something that's ridiculous, they shouldn't be doing this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: In case you couldn't make out what he was saying, he described what they're doing is Walmart with a crown. Now, Meghan Markle has received a lot of the blame for the rupture of the Royal Family, but last night in his first public statement since the split was announced, Harry, like a good husband took responsibility for the decision. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven't always done to right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.
What I want to make clear is we're not walking away, and we certainly aren't walking away from you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Yes, I made the decision, I'm in charge. No, really, she's not in charge. Oh promise. Charlie Lankston is an editor of dailymail.com and she joins us tonight.
Charlie, so my operating thesis is that like most of what public figures say is the opposite of the truth. So the two things he said are, I'm in charge here. I'm not taking orders from my wife, and we're not walking away. Are those true?
CHARLIE LANKSTON, FEMAIL EDITOR, DAILYMAIL.COM: Well, I mean, they are walking away, and I think that that is the opinion that everyone in the British public has. You know, they are leaving, they are literally walking away and leaving the U.K. for Canada.
LANKSTON: So that statement, certainly to a lot of people is not true. Secondly, for him to say, I made this decision, it was all me. Again, I don't think anyone's going to believe that because at the end of the day, he is also saying that he is doing it for Meghan and for his son, Archie, so she must have had at least a small role to play in this whole thing.
CARLSON: What are the chances that she not only made every single decision in their life together since they've been together, but that she forced him to go on stage and tell implausible lies?
LANKSTON: You know, I am a great believer in people taking responsibility for their own actions, and so I think some of it has to fall at his feet. I really do. However, the argument can be made that had he not met Meghan, he certainly wouldn't be making the decision to move to Canada. That's not something that he came up with by himself.
So she must have had at least a little part to play in that decision making process.
CARLSON: When you when you intentionally choose a life of unhappiness and degradation, that's masochism, right? Just as a general matter now.
LANKSTON: As a general matter, yes, I think you could describe it as that.
CARLSON: Okay. So you'd have to be one sick puppy to choose something like that. Right?
LANKSTON: Absolutely. But I think that a lot of people would argue that the life that Harry is walking away from is not one that we could really describe in those terms. At least, that's my opinion.
CARLSON: I think the one he is choosing, we could describe in those terms. So what about -- and this a subjective question, of course -- what about her father's allegations? They're doing this for the money?
LANKSTON: You know, I don't think that Meghan and her father, Thomas have had a very easy relationship at all. They certainly stand to make a lot more money out of the Royal Family than they ever stood to make being senior members of the Royal Family.
So that must have been slightly appealing. They've already got deal setup. She's already got something arranged with Disney and that video that we saw of Harry pitching his wife to Bob Iger, I think that really sent cringy chills through everyone, certainly myself. It was embarrassing to watch.
CARLSON: But I mean, the idea that they're going to succeed as entertainment pop culture figures assumes that people find them appealing, right?
LANKSTON: No, I think it assumes that people find them intriguing, and I don't think that anyone would argue, you know, any differently because at the end of the day, this is a bombshell. You said it yourself. It's actually interesting.
People are desperate to know where they're going to go, and I think actually, the majority of the public would find it a lot more fascinating if they kind of cheapen themselves and did go down that Walmart with a crown road that Thomas is suggesting.
CARLSON: That is such a smart point, and it just shows that you cover this stuff, and I don't know. I have a simplistic view. No, I'm serious. If people don't like them, they can't make any money. Just the opposite is true.
LANKSTON: Exactly. I am happy to chat about with you anytime, you know.
CARLSON: That's very deep, Charlie. Thank you. That's why we're doing this story because it tells us a lot.
LANKSTON: Thank you for having me.
CARLSON: Good to see you.
CARLSON: We are done, unfortunately. We could go on forever. I know you believe that.
We'll be back tomorrow night, 8 p.m., the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and groupthink.
Content and Programming Copyright 2020 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Fox News Network, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.