CNN's Cuomo calls Tucker Carlson a 'coward,' says he should repeat his words or apologize

CNN's Chris Cuomo on Monday called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson after audio surfaced of Carlson making derogatory comments about women, Muslims and other groups, challenging Carlson to repeat his words or apologize.

“Would he say the same things today? No, no, he’s too busy playing the victim. He’d only say that he was ‘naughty.’ ” Cuomo said on his prime-time show. 

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“Come on, big man. Read the list of all the things that you said and do it again and show that you mean it. He says apologizing to the mob costs people their jobs,” Cuomo added.

“What a coward. Why don’t you repeat what you said if it’s not such a big deal?”

Cuomo said that Carlson should apologize but that it would take "character" to do so. 

“Apologize if you want, but that takes character. That is strength, that is integrity. Own that you did something wrong,” he said.

“People who just say ugly things to get attention, and jump up and down on the fault lines in our society, you don’t have any of these virtues.”

Carlson made headlines after left-wing journalism watchdog Media Matters published audio of comments he made in appearances on a "shock jock" radio program dating back to more than a decade ago.

In 2006, Carlson seemingly called to end rape shield laws and in 2007 called women "extremely primitive," according to transcripts of the audio. 

He also said that the Congressional Black Caucus exists to "blame the white man for everything" and that he would vote for a president who wanted to kill "lunatic Muslims." 

Carlson said he would not apologize for his comments, calling them "naughty" in a tweet and said Monday that he would "never bow to the mob."

On his show on Monday, Carlson delivered a lengthy monologue on the issue, rejecting what he called a culture of outrage from both Democrats and Republicans.

While he did not reference the controversial comments specifically, he doubled down on his initial refusal to apologize.

"Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day," Carlson said. "Toughness is a rare quality in a TV network, and we’re grateful for that."

Carlson described Democrats as "deadly serious" in their effort to "crush" those who oppose their ideology and took a swipe at Republicans for pretending that "none of this happening."

“Why are the people who considered Bill Clinton a hero lecturing me about sexism?" Carlson asked. "How can the party that demands racial quotas denounce other people as racist? After a while, you begin to think maybe their criticisms aren’t sincere. What’s interesting is how reliably the other side pretends that none of this is happening."

Updated at 10:42 a.m.