Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took quite a bit of backlash on Twitter after first announcing that Fox News host Tucker Carlson had invited him to appear on the show and debate him, then saying that he had declined the invitation.
It all started with a letter Schumer sent to Fox News, calling on the network to “immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called ‘Great Replacement theory’” on any future broadcasts.
Schumer letter to the Murdochs and Fox execs: "I write to urge you to immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called 'Great Replacement theory' on your network's broadcasts" pic.twitter.com/ykeIa8Be3o
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 17, 2022
In the letter and on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Schumer laid most of the blame at Carlson’s feet, alleging that the popular host had mentioned Replacement Theory on his popular prime time show some 400 times since 2016.
Within hours, Schumer announced that Carlson had responded to the letter by inviting him to appear on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“@TuckerCarlson invited me on his show tonight to debate the letter I sent to @FoxNews,” Schumer said. “I’m declining. Tucker Carlson needs to stop promoting the racist, dangerous ‘Replacement Theory.’”
I'm declining. Tucker Carlson needs to stop promoting the racist, dangerous ‘Replacement Theory’.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 17, 2022
Critics immediately bashed Schumer for refusing to appear on the show, noting that it was consistently the highest-rated cable news show in prime time, and that if he really wanted his message to reach a broader audience, he should have jumped at the chance.
“Why wouldn’t you say that to him directly? Coward,” Jim Treacher tweeted, adding, “Chuck Schumer refused the debate because he knew he’d lose, and now he’s trying to save face before Tucker tells his audience. There’s no other reason to announce it like this.”
“You have the opportunity to argue your viewpoint in front of America’s largest news audience and instead you sent out a tweet … Is there a word lower than coward?” the Consumer Freedom Project wondered.
Erich Hartmann added, “This is insane. Who in their right mind would decline a chance to make their case to tens of millions of people?”
“This is the first time Chuck Schumer has ever declined to get in front of a camera,” David Harsanyi quipped.
“So you’re scared of debate,” syndicated radio host Dana Loesch said.
Fellow radio host Clay Travis agreed, adding, “So you’re a coward who isn’t willing to actually debate & defend your position. Thanks for clarifying.”
“Chuck Schumer is the bro in the bar yelling ‘Hold me back!’” John Cooper tweeted.
Kate Hyde cracked, “I said publicly that I could beat up Floyd Mayweather. He called and challenged me to a fight. I’m declining. Floyd Mayweather needs to stop resorting to violence.”