Carlson: Obama campaign's targeting of young voters has "a Khmer Rouge quality to it"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On Tucker, discussing the targeting of 17-year-old Iowa voters by Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, Tucker Carlson said the practice has "a Khmer Rouge quality to it," adding, "[I]t's scary." He also stated, "[I]f a right-wing candidate came and targeted my kids, I'd be mad about it. I don't want my kids near political candidates. ... They're creepy."

On the October 10 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, while discussing the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and its targeting of young voters in Iowa, host Tucker Carlson told guests -- nationally syndicated radio host Bill Press and TownHall.com contributing writer Matt Lewis -- "[Y]oung people like [Obama] anyway. ... [P]oliticizing children -- there's a Khmer Rouge quality to it. I think it's scary," adding: "[I]f a right-wing candidate came and targeted my kids, I'd be mad about it. I don't want my kids near political candidates. ... They're creepy."

The Khmer Rouge, headed by Pol Pot, was a brutal and repressive regime that ruled Cambodia in the mid- to late 1970s, leading "to the deaths of nearly a quarter of Cambodia's seven million people."

According to a Wall Street Journal report, a "quirk in Iowa election law" allows 17-year-old Iowa residents to caucus in January because they will be eligible to vote in the November 2008 presidential elections.

During the segment, Press stated: "This is, I think, one of the best things that Barack Obama has done. It's very smart. They're 17 today, they're going to be 18 next year. Volunteer this year, vote next year." Press continued: "In Iowa, they're allowed to participate in the caucus ... in January, even though they're not old enough to vote because they will vote in November. So, this is a whole new pool of new voters. And if anybody can appeal to them, get them excited and get them involved in politics and in his campaign, it's Barack Obama." Carlson responded: "I think you're right. I just disagree with it." Press then added, "I think it's a brilliant strategy." Later, Press asserted: "The fact that they've got a driver's license; they can go in the military, they're almost old enough to vote -- they can get involved in a political campaign." Carlson replied: "Ugh! Creepy as hell."

From the October 10 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:

CARLSON: Obama now targeting his campaign -- 17-year-olds in Iowa. Apparently the regulations in Iowa stipulate that if you're going to be 18 by the election, you can caucus; you can participate in the caucuses in January. So the Obama campaign is trying to get out 17-year-olds. Should a political campaign be targeting kids?

LEWIS: Well, you -- the thing I don't like about it is the whole premise of going to their parents and the teachers and sort of the coercion that this, you know, has been implied. But in terms of having a youth movement, I applaud him. However, every four years a candidate says they're going to win because of young people. It doesn't work. But what this does give Obama, I think, rather than actually a lot of voters, which I think is probably doubtful, it gives him an image. When you have a lot of young people on your campaign, it's that whole RFK image --

CARLSON: Right.

LEWIS: -- and I think it works for him, and it's smart.

CARLSON: Well, young people like him anyway. I just -- it -- politicizing children -- there's a Khmer Rouge quality to it. I think it's scary. If some -- if a right-wing candidate came and targeted my kids, I'd be mad about it. I don't want my kids near political candidates. Do you?

PRESS: Come on. Come on, get real.

CARLSON: They're creepy.

PRESS: This is, I think, one of the best things that Barack Obama has done. It's very smart. They're 17 today, they're going to be 18 next year. Volunteer this year, vote next year. And Iraq --

LEWIS: The other thing, they'll be 22 four years from now or whatever when he runs again.

PRESS: Right. But also -- and in Iowa --

CARLSON: Well, then, why not start in the fifth grade and just train a new generation of --

PRESS: Hold on a second. In Iowa, they're allowed to participate in the caucus --

LEWIS: Yes.

PRESS: -- in January, even though they're not old enough to vote because they will vote in November. So, this is a whole new pool of new voters. And if anybody can appeal to them, get them excited and get them involved in politics and in his campaign, it's Barack Obama. I think it's a brilliant--

CARLSON: I think you're right. I just disagree with it.

PRESS: I think it's a brilliant strategy.

CARLSON: And I don't care who does it, I just think you should lay off -- lay off my -- don't come near my house with that garbage.

PRESS: Wait, wait, wait. He's not putting a gun to their heads. It's just that they're flocking to his campaign 'cause they like what he's saying.

[crosstalk]

CARLSON: No, but it's like -- you know, what do kids do? They're impressionable. That's why you should let them make up their own minds and not try to either subject them to propaganda.

PRESS: The fact that they've got a driver's license, they can go in the military, they're almost old enough to vote -- they can get involved in a political campaign.

CARLSON: Ugh! Creepy as hell.

Are Republicans going to say anything about -- it's 'cause it seems like Republicans have accepted the idea that the middle class deserves entitlements, too.

LEWIS: Not this one but --

CARLSON: You know, the -- Hillary Clinton's savings plan pays people -- middle class families, people who make up to a hundred grand -- pay them to save money. The -- since when does the middle class deserve entitlements? And when are Republicans going to say something about that?

Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Tucker Carlson
Show/Publication
Tucker
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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