West News Wire: At The Family Leadership Summit in Iowa on Friday, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson sparred with Republican 2024 candidates like former Vice President Mike Pence. Some candidates expressed dissatisfaction that Carlson didn’t focus the “fireside chats” on family issues, which unify the crowd of evangelical Midwesterners, but instead on topics like Ukraine and the 2020 election. 

After a tense exchange with the former Fox News anchor, Pence told reporters, “I regret that we didn’t have very much time during my time on stage talking about the progress for life or issues in the family.” 

Pence responded, “I’m really never surprised,” when asked by news reporters if he was shocked that he had to spend the majority of the conversation defending Ukraine. 

Carlson, who has advocated for ending aid to the war-torn country, grilled Pence on his support for defense spending in Ukraine. At one point, the former vice president was booed when he tried to explain his reasoning. 

“I believe that it is in the interest of the United States of America, to continue to give the Ukrainian military the resources that they need to repel the Russian invasion and restore their sovereignty,” Pence said, to some disapproving audience members. 

When Carlson claimed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government is oppressing and arresting Christians, Pence noted that he asked the same question two months after the invasion began and again last month.

Given Carlson’s statements regarding Pence’s term as vice president, the meeting between Pence and Carlson was expected to be unpleasant. In an appearance on “The Ingraham Angle” last August, he termed the prospect of Pence running for president “delusional.” During a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast meeting at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, host Laura Ingraham presented a clip of Pence imploring Republicans to stop assaulting the FBI, which Carlson commented on. 

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Since Carlson represented the events of the Jan. 6 attack in cherry-picked security footage that was given to him exclusively by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, including calling rioters “sightseers” on the former host’s Fox News programme, Pence has also been extremely critical of Carlson. 

Pence said, “I was there at the Capitol, and let me assure you it was not, as some would have us believe, a matter of tourists peacefully enjoying our Capitol,” in March, before he began his presidential campaign. Pence was speaking at the annual Gridiron Club dinner for journalists in Washington, DC. “There is no doubt about it; what happened that day was a disgrace, and to portray it in any other way is to mock decency.” 

When Carlson asked Pence whether the events that took place on Jan. 6 were an “insurrection,” Pence said he’s never used that term but called it a “riot.” 

Carlson also repeatedly promoted claims concerning the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Other Iowa summit attendees included Sen. Tim Scott, S.C., former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. 


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