Tucker Carlson targets McCarthy over ties to GOP pollster Frank Luntz

Tucker Carlson attacked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy late Monday for what the Fox News host described as an overly cozy relationship between the California Republican and longtime GOP pollster Frank Luntz, adding that his show received a tip that McCarthy has been living with Luntz in Washington, D.C. 

“Why do Republican officials listen more carefully to Frank Luntz than they do their own voters?” Carlson asked during a segment on his program. 

Carlson suggested Luntz has stated opinions in favor of and lobbied on behalf of “some of the most left-leaning” causes in America. 

The comments came after Carlson on Friday told his viewers Luntz has talked about his “personal friendship” with McCarthy and expressed confusion at the close ties between the two D.C. powerbrokers. 

“That relationship gives Luntz outsized influence over the Republican Party’s policy positions,” the host added.

On Monday, Carlson said a source told his show that McCarthy and Luntz “are not simply friends, they’re roommates.”

“Honestly, we did not believe it,” Carlson said. “Even by the sleazy and corrupt standards of Washington that did not seem possible. In fact, it sounded like a joke.”

Fox News journalists reached out to McCarthy’s office to confirm the tip they had received about the living arrangement, Carlson said.

A spokesperson for the minority leader initially told Fox that McCarthy rents hotel rooms or sleeps in his office at the U.S. Capitol when he is in town, but later told Carlson’s show that “because of the pandemic, McCarthy has rented a room in Washington at a fair market price from Frank.”

“So actually the top Republican in the House does live with somebody who lobbies for Google,” Carlson said. “Not only are they friends, they’re roommates. So now you know why they listen to Frank Luntz, but they don’t listen to you.”

During an appearance on “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning, McCarthy confirmed he had rented a room from Luntz but balked at the idea of any kind of ethics violation like Carlson had alluded to. 

“Frank’s not a lobbyist, Frank’s a friend I knew for 15 years before he ever got in and I just rented a room for a few months there so I don’t see that there’s any problem along that line,” McCarthy said before adding of Carlson: “But I’d like to see everybody stay together.” 

The Hill has requested comment from Luntz, who has been a fixture in national polling for years, organizing focus groups and prognosticating about the future of party politics based on the data he and his team collects. He appears regularly on cable news channels, including Fox News, to share his opinions and findings.

“To more than half of America he is a genuine villain,” Luntz said of former President Trump during a recent interview with the CNBC. “And there isn’t even a shred of hope for him if he should ever try to reenter politics.”

Carlson on Monday said by renting a room from Luntz, McCarthy was effectively “mocking his voters.”

“Kevin McCarthy promises Republicans he shares their values,” Carlson said. “He tells them he’s on their side. He says he will fight for them against permanent Washington, the forces that would like to destroy their lives … and at the end of the day Kevin McCarthy goes home to Frank Luntz’s apartment in Penn Quarter and laughs about it.”

Updated at 9:52 a.m. 

Tags Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy Tucker Carlson
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