Robinson and Carlson Go Head-to-Head on the 2012 Presidential Election

Tucker, Eugene, Dr.Rose

From left are Tucker Carlson, Eugene Robinson and moderator Dr. Gary Rose.

News Story: March 1, 2012

As part of the 2011-2012 Student Affairs Lecture Series, Sacred Heart University welcomed Eugene Robinson and Tucker Carlson in A View from Left to Right: The 2012 Presidential Election. The speakers, along with moderator Dr. Gary Rose, were joined by a full house in the University Commons on Wednesday, February 22.

Eugene Robinson has been widely acclaimed for his ability to eloquently pick American society and politics apart and put them back together again. His twice-weekly column in The Washington Post showcases his vast knowledge of the political world using his life experiences, energy and curiosity.

Tucker Carlson, well-known journalist and political commentator, currently works for the Fox News Channel and is editor-in-chief of the news opinion site, He has reported from around the globe, including dispatches from Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon and Vietnam.

Dr. Gary Rose, chair of SHU’s Government & Politics Department moderated the event. He questioned the two on a range of topics from the upcoming election and who is responsible for the gridlock in Congress to the stimulus package, foreign policy and the current debate over coverage of contraceptives under the administration’s health plan.  Rose also encouraged questions from the audience.

Rose opened up the discussion by asking who is to blame for the constant inability of both parties to compromise on a range of disputes.  Robinson was not shy in sharing his honest beliefs on the Republican Party stating, “I think it is clear that the Republican Party has been more responsible for the gridlock over the past three years.” He continued by noting that Democrats have been willing to reconcile and shift on a range of issues where, he believes, Republicans would never budge.

2012 Presidential Election TalkCarlson quickly stepped in challenging most of Robinson’s beliefs, but not before acknowledging the great respect and admiration he has for Robinson.  Carlson said that in general, the parties organize themselves in opposition. He argued that the real reason there isn’t any compromise is because political parties have changed. While at one time there were liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats, this simply is not the case anymore. He was adamant in his belief that in modern society, if you are liberal you are a Democrat, and if you are conservative you are labeled Republican.

Dr. Rose concluded the discussion by asking Robinson and Carlson who was the most interesting person either of them had interviewed. Carlson eagerly shared a story of a preacher he met in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. He asked the man how he lives in peace with such turmoil around him. The man responded, “I trust in God,” and then opened his jacket up to reveal a substantial weapon, adding “also because I’m armed.”

Both Robinson and Carlson brought an interesting spin on several issues and left their audience engaged, informed and with plenty to think about on their way home.