Tucker is Wrong on this One

During a recent interview, Tucker Carlson openly shared his opinions about President Trump, stating that the president is “not capable” and has not kept his promises. According to a Washington Post article, Carlson stated:

“His chief promises were that he would build the wall, defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson said, adding that those goals were probably lost causes. Trump, he said, doesn’t understand the system, and his own agencies don’t support him.

“He knows very little about the legislative process, hasn’t learned anything, hasn’t surrounded himself with people that can get it done, hasn’t done all the things you need to do, so it’s mostly his fault that he hasn’t achieved those things.”

Carlson’s conclusion that Trump is “not capable” and that he has not kept his promises is overly- simplistic and easily refuted.

There are many points that discredit Carlson’s conclusions, some of which were referenced in the Chicago Tribune: First, Trump promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He also promised to crush and destroy ISIS and is well on his way to doing so. Moreover, he promised to impose a travel ban on those countries that he deemed posed a terrorist threat to the United States and which the Supreme Court eventually upheld. Additionally, President Trump promised to appoint conservative judges and justices. Since taking office, he has appointed Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and countless other judges to the federal appellate courts. He also withdrew from the terrible Iran deal and has kept various promises with regard to trade.

Despite all of these “promises-kept,” Carlson points to three promises that Trump has not fulfilled: building the wall, defunding Planned Parenthood, and repealing ObamaCare. While Carlson correctly points out that these promises have remained unfulfilled, he is too quick to blame the president and fails to account for the efforts and/or progress relative to each of these. For example, President Trump has made numerous efforts to build the wall. To do so, he needs funding. However, according to PoliticusUSA, “House Democrats are firmly stating that they don’t want to give Trump a single penny to fund his border wall.” Therefore, it is not fair for Carlson to place the majority of the blame on Trump for Congress’ unwillingness to fund the wall.

With regard to ObamaCare, Trump and/or Congress successfully repealed the individual mandate. According to an article in the Washington Examiner, “It’s not widely reported, but Congress permanently repealing the ObamaCare individual mandate was a seminal plank of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Doing so opens up all sorts of alternative options for families to consider. Repealing the individual mandate gave the Trump administration the opening to provide more choices for families. This has taken three forms: association health plans, short-term limited duration plans, and health reimbursement arrangements.” Therefore, despite Carlson’s blanket conclusion, Trump has made progress towards fulfilling his promise, yet must proceed with caution so as to try to formulate options that would benefit as many people as possible (especially in light of the importance that affordable health care played in the midterm elections).  

Finally, according to Lifesitenews, the House passed several bills that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. However, these bills died in the Senate. Moreover, recent calls to veto a proposed budget that included funding for Planned Parenthood (during the lame-duck session) went unanswered so as to avoid a possible government shutdown. While this promise has remained unfulfilled, it is not due to a lack of effort on the president’s behalf. This is probably Carlson’s strongest point, as Republicans had two years to achieve this. Still, “Politico quotes unnamed pro-lifers as being unwilling to force a budget confrontation, and instead favor a “longer term vision for incremental progress” that includes state laws, executive actions, and continuing to transform the judiciary. Judicial nominees only require approval from the Senate, whose pro-life majority is expanding next year.”

To claim that President Trump is “not capable” and that he has not kept his promises is oversimplified, disingenuous, and easily refuted. In just two years in office, President Trump’s accomplishments are extraordinary. Among them: the economy is thriving, unemployment numbers are down, fewer Americans are on food stamps, relations with Israel are excellent, Americans are taking home more money due to tax cuts, our borders are more secure, the ObamaCare individual mandate has been eliminated, and many regulations have been eliminated. These accomplishments would not have occurred under a president who was “not capable.” To the contrary, they occurred because Trump is smart, committed, and very capable of doing his job.

The president still has some promises to fulfill. Hopefully, with time, he will be able to put them in the “promises-fulfilled” column, too.

Mr. Hakim is a writer, commentator and an attorney.  His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Western Journal, American Thinker and other online publications.   


Twitter: @ThoughtfulGOP