Fox News host Laura Ingraham says that if the Republican Party continues to focus on former President Trump’s populist messages, it will likely succeed in future elections and be in a strong position to retake the White House in 2024 .
In an interview with The Hill, Ingraham, who has hosted a prime-time op-ed show on Fox News for five years, deflected a question about Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the two Republicans seen as frontrunners for the GOP’s white House of Representatives nomination to say that no matter what happens in the primary, the Republican Party will act on populism.
“I think the future of the party is rooted in populism,” Ingraham said. “You can call it ‘America First’ populism, or just populism, but it will be a type of economic nationalism and pragmatic policymaking that is long overdue in Washington.
“The American people are growing impatient and frustrated that America is getting weaker and poorer week by week, month by month,” she added, moving on to a theme familiar from her late-night broadcasts.
Ingraham, who hosts “The Ingraham Angle” weekdays at 10 p.m. on Fox News, is known for her support of Trump. During the interview, she criticized the established wing of the GOP as led by former President George W. Bush in the 2000s.
“The Bush/Cheney days of open borders, endless wars, globalism . . . all turned out to be a complete failure,” she said. And those who think the GOP might return to that style of partying are fooling themselves, she suggested.
“This idea of the dinosaur-like old establishment GOP coming back to life… it’s over,” Ingraham said.
In text messages to former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Ingraham expressed deep concern about the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and what it could do to Trump’s legacy.
“Mark, the President needs to tell the people in the Capitol to go home,” the Fox News star said in a text. “It hurts us all. He destroys his legacy.”
However, Ingraham now argues that the House panel on the Jan. 6 attack has hurt Democrats and is largely disconnected from Americans.
She suggested that the Democrats on the panel and the two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), hold an old-fashioned view of the establishment separate from the populism that fuels the right.
And she argued that all hearings on Jan. 6 overlooked the fact that more voters are concerned about inflation and the economy.
“It was a massive miscalculation on the part of the Democrats, the two Nie-Trumpers on the committee, to think that concerns about the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill would somehow overwhelm concerns about the economic survival of American families,” she said . “Again, it shows the total disconnect between Washington’s elites and regular America.”
Here are some more excerpts from The Hill’s interview with Ingraham. Questions and answers have been edited for grammar, clarity and length.
Q: Why is Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter significant and how do you think it will affect our discussions of politics?
“I think more talk is always better, not that I love everything people say about me or the show. I am a firm believer in the First Amendment and that it protects political expression absolutely… It’s very difficult how this will eventually “moderate”. When corporations are as large as this, the argument can be that they act as proxies for government. One person’s disinformation is the truth, the other person’s truth is disinformation. It would have to be done very, very carefully and I’m not sure if it’s really possible. Aside from genuine incitement to violence, abuse on the internet, etc… I think political speech, you have to be very careful about censorship, left, right, center, all of that.”
Q. How different would our political climate be if Fox News didn’t exist?
“See, I grew up with three networks. I like more votes. When people say, “Well, it’s very polarized”…compared to what? When three organizations controlled the flow of news in American homes every night? I think Americans do better with more information. Fox’s dominance of the ratings suggests there was a huge gap and vacuum, which Roger Ailes along with Rupert Murdoch saw and decided that gap needed to be filled with compelling programming and new voices…a lot of people just want to go to a place where their’ views are not disregarded minute by minute.”
Q: How are your discussions with Fox’s top executives going? [Fox News Media CEO] Susanne Scott and [President of News] Jay Wallace. How often do managers in the company give you feedback and vice versa?
“I won’t share my conversations with Fox leadership, but what I do want to say is that they have a tremendous respect for their talent and have been great at nurturing talent over the years… There’s always someone looking over your shoulder , if you’re on cable news, I don’t care what network you work for. Dominating the ratings and getting the revenue they have is incredibly impressive.”
Q: You and a number of other top Fox personalities have been hosting town hall-style events with voters in the run-up to the Midterms. What are the functions of these events, and what do you think is the role of a cable news host in the dynamics of an election in general?
“I personally love a live audience dynamic. It brings a special energy to programming. In a live environment you see the candidates differently and for me that challenges me to be a better host.”