Joe Henderson: Marco Rubio pushes back on Tucker Carlson, and that’s good
Marco Rubio.

rubio
Rubio joined other GOP senators to remind Carlson what it means actually to be in the arena.

The world waits with chewed fingernails for Russia’s next move in the Ukraine situation, but have no fear. Fox News Commentator Tucker Carlson assured his vast audience that he knows how to handle the tense situation.

His solution: It’s none of our business if Russia pulverizes Ukraine, no biggie.

Empathy is not his strong suit.

Normally, Tucker’s tantrums and name-calling can be enough to make many Republican politicians see it his way. But guess what? Several GOP senators, including Florida’s Marco Rubio, reminded Carlson what it means to actually be in the arena.

“I don’t agree with those views,” Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in POLITICO.

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“[It’s] the U.S. interest not just in Europe but around the world in not having countries decide, ‘That belongs to us, we’re going to go ahead and take it.'”

In other words, Rubio is a U.S. Senator dealing with real-world issues. Carlson is not.

Rubio has been consistent on this issue.

In December, he joined seven GOP senators in introducing a bill to support Ukraine’s sovereignty.

And in January, he introduced another bill that directly targeted Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The bill would, for the first time, impose sanctions on Putin himself, and on the sectors of the Russian economy his regime depends on to personally enrich itself,” he wrote. “Critically, this bill would not be dependent on President (Joe) Biden to decide what constitutes an incursion into Ukraine.”

Now, I will defend Carlson’s right to his opinion on just about anything, even if I believe he’s a blithering idiot — which I do. But we know we can’t ignore Fox’s outsized influence among conservatives. When Republican lawmakers push back on him, it’s news.

Several lawmakers reported receiving messages from constituents that roughly said, “Hey, Tucker says let Russia have Ukraine. So, let ’em have it because, after all, who cares?”

I wish they had pushed back when that carnival barker let loose with a racist rant about President Biden’s vow to nominate a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“So, Joe Biden confirmed today what we already knew: Our next Supreme Court justice will not be chosen on the basis of legal acumen, intelligence, wise judgment or fealty to the Constitution of the United States,” Carlson said on air. “Biden believes those are outdated Eurocentric criteria. In this country, equity trumps competence. What matters, Joe Biden explained, is sex and skin color.”

What seems to matter to Tucker is stoking racial stereotypes. I guess he assumes Biden’s nominee won’t keep up intellectually with her SCOTUS colleagues. How about condemning that line of garbage, Fox-watchers?

Back on point, Rubio could find himself at the forefront of a showdown with the Donald Trump wing of the GOP. Trump, remember, believed he and Putin were BFFs, and many Republicans followed in lockstep.

Let’s not forget what Fox’s lawyers think of their lad. In a slander case against him, a federal judge agreed, “Fox persuasively argues, that given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive(s) with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statement he makes.”

Translation: He is not a serious human, although he always looks mad about something.

Say what you will about Rubio, he is passionate about America’s role in defending against authoritarian regimes. That’s why it’s noteworthy when he and others stand up to a big mouth with a bigger microphone.

Let’s hope it’s a trend.

Last updated on February 3, 2022

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


16 comments

  • Charles

    February 2, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Interesting
    A old washed up sports writer now “specializes” in politics and yellow journalism.
    Jackassery Joe Henderson is like a rabid carnival barker spewing his garbage. His bias is way beyond acceptable norms and facts don’t matter to him
    If Henderson were a car we would take him to the junkyard. He deserves to be put to pasture headlining the hypocrite trash heap.

  • Tom

    February 2, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Joe, when our lame POTUS won’t come on T V and explain how many U S soldiers are being sent to Europe and where? That is very dangerous. After 20 endless yrs in Afghanistan and his humiliating and costly lives exit we deserve candor and honesty. We are still in Iraq.
    As for Tucker and Marco, I appreciate Tucker highlighting the challenge with Russia. Putin is a serous menace but any Ukraine formal relationship to NATO is a problem. The neocons and neo libs want a Russia conflict. Hillary wanted that with Putin in Libya, Syria and anywhere else. Biden needs to level on troop deployment. House and Senate won’t. War in Ukraine is not acceptable. What is our Nat security interest? The President needs to explain that.

    I would hope Sen Rubio would ask tough questions and challenge other Senators to do so before any conflict may arise. We have other challenges compared to Ukraine.

  • Tom

    February 2, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Joe, when our lame POTUS won’t come on T V and explain how many U S soldiers are being sent to Europe and where? That is very dangerous. After 20 endless yrs in Afghanistan and his humiliating and costly lives exit we deserve candor and honesty. We are still in Iraq.
    As for Tucker and Marco, I appreciate Tucker highlighting the challenge with Russia. Putin is a serous menace but any Ukraine formal relationship to NATO is a problem for him. The neocons and neo libs want a Russia conflict. Hillary wanted that with Putin in Libya, Syria and anywhere else. Biden needs to level on troop deployment. House and Senate won’t. No war in Ukraine is acceptable. I would hope Sen Rubio would ask tough questions and challenge others to do so before any conflict arises.

    • Ocean Joe

      February 3, 2022 at 5:45 am

      Tommy, did you want another 20 years in Afghanistan? Trump signed an agreement and whittled our forces down to a small defensive capacity (2500) in expectation of it. He made his deal with the Taliban, not with ISIS. The standing American supported army collapsed in record time, much like Iraqis who dropped their weapons and fled at the sound of the first shot, according to Trump, and much like the rapid collapse of the ARVN, to the point of a rooftop evacuation.

      The Russians got part of what they wanted in 2016, by helping to elect Trump and dividing America like never before, they got a US president who sounded like their puppet in Helsinki, discounting his own intelligence services; and who acted like their puppet in Syria, opening the way for the slaughter of the Kurds. The Russians want to rebuild their empire regardless of what pretext they need to do it.

      Go listen to Tucker, the little rich, frat boy who made good disguising himself into something else to take your money.

      • Impeach Biden

        February 3, 2022 at 6:04 am

        Do tell how Hunter Biden, the kicked out USN officer, made his millions and the rest of the Biden family. Where and how did they make their money?

        • politics

          February 6, 2022 at 7:50 pm

          what hunter made went up the nose.

          • politics

            February 6, 2022 at 7:52 pm

            in my adventure times i might had a snort or two.

      • Tom

        February 3, 2022 at 6:32 am

        Ocean, I have no idea what you are suggesting? Biden’s collapse ( never recover) goes back to his dismal Afghanistan withdrawal and loss of U. S. military personnel. An absolute disaster which has seen his political collapse across the board on all other issues. This POTUS has a major responsibility to explain our national security challenge and commitment going forward. As for Tucker, he has a right to question what we are doing and what it means. Unfortunately, not enough media are doing so on many issues. Sen Rubio and others need to ask tough questions and make sure our efforts do not turn into Afghanistan or Iraq’s endless commitments. Joe, your inability along with others to not mention Trump is distressing. We are talking bout Biden whispering on a plane tarmac last Friday, dead at night muttering he’s sending troops in short term? Yesterday another 3000 were authorized? What’s he doing? What is our purpose? End game ? Do yourself a favor and the rest of your Manchurians, try not to mention Trump for a week. My God, can you clown show workers ever take responsibility?

        Btw, Biden’s Florida numbers are atrociously unfavorable. Which will haunt the Dems in Nov.

        We need tough Q’s now on Ukraine and U S, NATO involvement and what it means. Not secret masked mutterings by this POTUS and Senators acting like seals.

        Btw, they released a study yesterday on how incompetent the Afghan withdrawal was. Ignore the 2 million illegals on the southern border but send troops to Ukraine? Tell us why?
        China challenges ? We need better domestic manufacturing production on Nat security items and American products. Other domestic and International challenges. We need better Joe. It’s not Trump Ocean Joe. It’s on Biden. Spare us.

      • Tom

        February 3, 2022 at 6:35 am

        Ocean, I replied to u. It’s up above.

      • Tom

        February 3, 2022 at 7:10 am

        Ocean Joe, this is about our U.S. commitment going forward. This is about U S soldiers being placed in forward circumstances with possible conflict. Asking questions now need to be asked Joe. Not 5 yrs later when we are in waist deep. As for your mental review of the past 4 yrs, it is meaningless. Sen Rubio and others needs to ask tough questions as to our purpose and the President needs to explain our nat. security commitment. Not mutter on a tarmac, I’m Sending troops in short term and announce yesterday 3000 more? Is that in addition? What’s going on?

        You can disagree with Tucker but we should have more inquiries challenging what we are doing now. Not after 13 soldiers died like Afghanistan after. The last thing we need is to ignore our greater challenges internationally and domestically. Which are many. Getting bogged down in a quagmire is not one of them.

      • Tom

        February 3, 2022 at 8:25 am

        Ocean Joe, please inform all of us who approved the disastrous Russian “Nordstream” oil deal with Germany and Europe? Not ex POTUS Trump. You really want to go there? How ridiculous. Putin is playing with Biden.
        Please ocean stop the stupid!
        I replied earlier twice to you above.

  • ScienceBLVR

    February 2, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    Awww Marco Rubio..always on the wrong side of the fence. Joe is more optimistic than I when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of our elected officials..never been a Marco fan. But, honestly, what percentage of Americans can find Ukraine on a map? What continent? Really, Marco? What’s happening in any of the 67 counties in Florida you proport to represent?

  • Impeach Biden

    February 2, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    Definitely not a news piece but purely an editorial from an anti-fox, anti-Tucker journalist. Auditioning for the NYT or The Atlantic perhaps?

  • Beth

    February 3, 2022 at 6:07 am

    Excellent article thank you Mr. Henderson. Although I am no fan of Rubio every once in a while he lands on the side of right. I too would love to see more.

  • Ron Ogden

    February 3, 2022 at 7:29 am

    “Joe Henderson: Marco Rubio pushes back on Tucker Carlson, and that’s good”

    And sensible readers push back on Joe Henderson, and that’s even better.

  • politics

    February 6, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    does Carlson know you scream bloody mary she comes to haunt you

Comments are closed.


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