Tucker Carlson interview: Milei accuses the Pope of defending ‘dictators’

The far-right presidential candidate also took issue with Pope Francis’ defense of social justice, calling it ‘robbery’

By Facundo Iglesia and Valen Iricibar

Tucker Carlson, former Fox News host and television personality, sat down with far-right presidential candidate Javier Milei for an interview in his series “Tucker on X” published on Thursday.

The interview gave the libertarian economist ample space to express his views on a wide range of topics — such as inflation, “gender ideology,” climate change, and prayer — which were framed as a war between socialism and “the ideas of freedom.” Milei also made a strong reference to Pope Francis, whom he accused of showing an “affinity for dictators.”

“The Pope is a political player who has shown to have an affinity for dicators like [Raúl] Castro or [Nicolás] Maduro. He has shown himself to be on the side of bloody dictatorships. An affinity for murderous communists. In fact, he doesn’t condemn them,” said Milei, adding that the Pope has also been “very forgiving with the Venezuelan dictatorship.”

“He is forgiving of everyone who is left-wing, even when they’re real criminals.”

Milei also said that the Pope defends social justice, and that that is “complicated.” 

“Social justice means stealing the fruit of one person’s labor and giving it to another. So, first of all, that’s robbery […] Justifying social justice means defending robbery,” said Milei, who also took aim at socialism.

“Everywhere and always, socialism is a violent, murderous, and impoverishing phenomenon,” said Milei, who founded the far-right coalition La Libertad Avanza (LLA).

Milei’s definition of socialism includes the governments of China, Russia and Brazil — which he would sever ties with if elected — but also social movements and scientific theories: Black Lives Matter, the concept of climate change, ”the LGBT lobby” and “radical feminism,” to name a few. The Pope also made the list of supporters of what Milei called a “socialist, post-Marxist agenda.”

This is one of Milei’s highest-profile interviews, with many of Carlson’s followers showing their support on X (formerly Twitter). Previous guests include former US President Donald Trump and Andrew Tate, a far-right podcast host currently facing charges of sex trafficking and sexual assault.

‘Socialists’ hands are stained with blood’

The interview opened with questions about inflation, with Milei contending that government spending is the sole cause. This claim is contested by heterodox economists, who say that price hikes can have multiple causes.

Carlson expressed disbelief about “how people with power can support the status quo given the country’s inflation” — the monthly rate for August hit 12.4%, a 32-year high. Milei’s response moved from how Argentina has allegedly followed socialist ideas for the past 100 years to the congressman’s mainstay rejection of the idea that “where there is a need, a right is born.”

“There can be infinite needs but someone always has to pay for those rights. And the resources for that are finite,” he said, contending that the imbalance sparks a conflict. “In the liberalist view, this conflict is easy to resolve with economic freedom and private property […] However, socialists don’t much like the invisible hand, they prefer the claws of the state.”

Prefacing a general question about the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity, Carlson said an unnamed businessman told him “over lunch” that transgender people pay less taxes in Argentina. Although there is a 2021 law that gives certain tax reductions to companies that hire transgender/travesti employees, there is no tax relief awarded to individuals based on their gender identity. A government report on Law 27.630 explained that it is meant to address the glass ceiling faced by women — denied by Milei in Thursday’s interview — as well as the structural poverty faced by the trans/travesti community, which has historically faced barriers to formal education and employment.

Unlike its direct English translation, travesti in Argentina is a gender identity with deep political roots that is worn with pride.

As for the Ministry of Women, Gender, and Diversity, Milei said that it achieved “nothing” and was in fact offensive to women as an example of positive discrimination. He has said he would eliminate the ministry alongside 10 others if elected as part of his “Chainsaw Plan.”

“If there is true equality under the law, what we need is to enforce the law, not create a Ministry for Women,” Milei said, also questioning why there wasn’t a “ministry for men.”

When asked about abortion, Milei repeated his position that the medical procedure is “aggravated homicide.” He also said that people who support abortion are socialists. 

“Socialists’ hands are stained with blood,” he said. “They believe themselves to be God! They are heretics.”

Milei has said that if elected president, he would call for a referendum on abortion — a move that would be unconstitutional.

Carlson, who prologued the interview with a video warning that what he called “socialist” policies applied in Argentina could produce hyperinflation in the United States, asked Milei to give advice to Trump.

“He should continue his fight against socialism,” Milei said. “He is one of the few who truly understood that were fighting against socialism.”

Milei said that he is what in Argentina is called “a liberal,” a word that in English is often associated with a progressive viewpoint. However, since its Spanish equivalent (also “liberal”) doesn’t have that connotation, he prefers to be called “a libertarian” in English. Carlson described him as a “traditional libertarian” as opposed to “libertarian in the traditional American sense.”

X’s owner, Elon Musk, reacted positively to the interview. “Government overspending, which is the fundamental cause of inflation, has wrecked countless countries,” Musk tweeted. Days earlier, on September 8, he tweeted that if Milei were elected President of Argentina it would represent “quite a change.” However, he deleted the tweet hours after posting it.

You may also be interested in: Javier Milei: the fringe economist pundit turned presidential frontrunner


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