Fox News host Tucker Carlson mocked the enthusiasm surrounding President Joe Biden’s pick for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who would become the first Native American cabinet secretary if she’s confirmed by the Senate.
He sarcastically argued that it’s odd to be excited about someone’s ancestry and argued that Scandinavian-Americans should be celebrating as well as Ms Haaland’s late father was from Norway.
Carlson said running the Department of the Interior is “not a small job,” adding that it “manages about a fifth of the entire surface area of the United States”.
“It’s got 70,000 employees and an enormous budget. So it’s a lot of power to run it but what does Deb Haaland plan to do with all this new power? Well, no one has asked her. They’re too busy celebrating what she looks like.”
A number of CNN clips were then played of anchors and a reporter noting the historic nature of Ms Haaland’s nomination.
Carlson said: “It seems a little weird to be ‘excited’ about an accident of birth.”
He said that the focus on her heritage and not her qualifications was just identity politics, which he called “disgusting and immoral”.
He noted in a mocking tone that she would be the first Interior Secretary of Norwegian descent since Thomas Kleppe served in the Ford Administration in the late 70s.
Carlson said: “In their quiet brooding way, the Scandinavian community, we can tell you, is beaming with pride,” after noting that he too has a Scandinavian last name.
He added: “Finally one of ours has made it. Little girls with names like Larson, Hanson and Dahl will watch Cabinet meetings on C-SPAN and know that they too have a chance to oversee one-fifth of the American landmass someday. When Deb Haaland speaks, she’ll be speaking for millions of Norwegian Americans, people whose ancestors have been here in the Americas for more than 1,000 years. Their voices can now be heard. Deb Haaland, hero to the Nordic people. She’s welcome in our sauna anytime.”
Reuters reported on Tuesday that two Republican senators had halted the progress of Ms Haaland’s nomination arguing that more debate on her policy positions is needed. Steve Daines and Cynthia Lummis wanted more discussions to be held on the nominee’s stance on oil and gas development.
Mr Daines said in a statement: “Her record is clear: she opposes pipelines and fossil fuels, ignores science when it comes to wildlife management and wants to ban trapping on public lands.”