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Charlamagne Tha God says DeSantis can beat Trump in a GOP primary, 'sad' Biden is Dems' 'safest bet' in 2024

FOX News logo FOX News 11/21/2022 Joseph Wulfsohn
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EXCLUSIVE: Multimedia mogul Charlamagne Tha God offered a very grim forecast for Democrats going into 2024 despite their strong performance in this year's midterms that prevented the "red wave" many expected.

During an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Charlamagne suggested a rematch between President Biden and former President Trump may not go in the Democrats' favor the next time around.

"I think it can go either way. Like, I don't think it's a sure thing, which is sad, right?... It's sad that we're saying it's still a toss-up between [Trump] and President Biden," Chalamagne said after pointing to the multiple investigations plaguing Trump. "I think that's more indicative of what, you know, Democrats aren't doing. And for me, I just don't see the bench that the Democrats have. I personally don't see the person that they could put up in 2024 that could really galvanize and energize people. I mean, the fact that Biden is still their safest best- ugh. I think that's sad too."

He later added, "Maybe there's somebody that we're not even thinking of that is going to decide to throw their hat in the ring and, you know, energize the country the way, you know, President Obama did. You know, maybe it's somebody that we're not even really thinking about because they haven't been in that long or, you know, but other than that, any of the players that we know, I don't see it, man."

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"The Breakfast Club" co-host Charlamagne Tha God. Courtesy of Charlamagne Tha God © Courtesy of Charlamagne Tha God "The Breakfast Club" co-host Charlamagne Tha God. Courtesy of Charlamagne Tha God

To Charlamagne, whose real name is Lenard McKelvey, said there is no distinction between whether Biden will run or should run in 2024 since Democrats "don't have a choice" if they want any chance at keeping the White House

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"Do you think there's somebody out there that they can put up?" Charlamagne asked. 

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In a recent installment of his Comedy Central show "Hell Of a Week," Charlamagne said Democrats have "nobody" to put up against either former President Trump, who declared his candidacy last week, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is quickly becoming a favored GOP alternative to the party's current standard-bearer.

Philadelphia, USA- September 1st: President Joe Biden gives a speech on protecting American democracy in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 1st, 2022. Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images © Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Philadelphia, USA- September 1st: President Joe Biden gives a speech on protecting American democracy in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 1st, 2022. Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

When asked about the presidential prospects of Vice President Kamala Harris, the "Breakfast Club" co-host quickly went sour.

"No, I don't think the vice president stands a chance against Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis unless something magically changes over the next two years, and she pivots greatly, you know, but based on what we've seen so far, no," Charlamagne said. 

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He was equally pessimistic about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg despite praising him as being "great" and crediting him for being the only Biden administration official to consistently appear on his radio show.

"You know, he's part of the LGBTQ community. So I think that gives him a lens of empathy that, you know, a lot of people may not have, so he'll be able to see things from a lot of different people's sides but, you know, I just don't know if America will embrace him because of those same reasons," the host explained. "Like when President Obama, you know, became the first Black president and everybody was like, 'wow,' that was a big thing because that's just something you never thought you would see in America. Same thing when you see people like Hillary Clinton become the Democratic nominee. Like, that wasn't too far-fetched to me, but I don't know if I ever really thought this country was ready to embrace a woman president, especially right after a Black president. So I'm not saying it couldn't happen. I just don't know if America is as progressive as we act. You know, I don't know if they are ready to put a member of the LGBT community in that position. I really don't."

Charlamagne Tha God hosts the Comedy Central late night shot "Hell Of a Week." Courtesy of Charlamagne Tha God © Courtesy of Charlamagne Tha God Charlamagne Tha God hosts the Comedy Central late night shot "Hell Of a Week." Courtesy of Charlamagne Tha God

While Charlamagne sees Democrats scrambling to find the best presidential nominee, he also views Ron DeSantis as a "very formidable opponent." 

"I think people are sleeping on Ron DeSantis," Charlamagne said. "I can't even believe the conversations I'm hearing with people saying 'I don't think he can win the national election.' Why not? What will make them think that he can't win a national election? Sorry to tell y'all, man. I'm from the south. I'm from South Carolina. More of the country is more like Florida than we may want to believe. The majority of America is more, you know, rural and, you know full of conservative values like in a place like Florida than there is, you know, other places. I think when you live in New York or California, you might be fooled to think that's the world. That's not the world. The world is more Southern and Midwest than anything."

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On whether who would win in a hypothetical GOP primary between DeSantis and former President Trump, Charlamagne told Fox News Digital his "gut" says the Florida governor would walk away the victor but stressed how celebrity has a "stranglehold" on American consciousness, particularly from the 80s and 90s era like Trump who "galvanized the country" back when he first ran in 2016.

"But I think what gives DeSantis a good edge is that he seems more stable... We don't want to go through that cycle of every day in the news, everybody's talking about Trump. I mean, it just leads to too much divisiveness. You know, it leads to too much anxiety," Charlamagne said. "I don't want to see him on Fox News every five minutes. I don't want to see him on CNN every five minutes. I don't want to see him on MSNBC every five minutes. And I think, you know, that nonstop media coverage is what helped him the first time. And I think that right now it's just too many things going on in the world for us to be constantly worried about every single thing that is going on in the world of Trump... So I just personally don't think that that's good energy to constantly have out there every single day. I don't I personally don't want to go through that. I mean, I know it's good for the news networks, but I don't want to go through that."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives a victory speech after defeating Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist while his wife Casey DeSantis looks on during his election night watch party. Getty Images © Getty Images Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives a victory speech after defeating Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist while his wife Casey DeSantis looks on during his election night watch party. Getty Images

"The Breakfast Club," which Charlamagne co-hosts with DJ Envy and Angela Yee, has quickly grown in prominence, becoming a must-do for Democratic candidates running in the 2020 presidential cycle and will likely have a heavy presence in the 2024 cycle, particularly if there's an open primary among Democrats (though Biden has repeated he "intends" to seek reelection). 

Charlamagne credits liberal pundit Bakari Sellers, who he says put "The Breakfast Club" on the Democrat map when he appeared on the radio show while running for South Carolina lieutenant governor in 2014. 

"He didn't win, but he could see how, you know, his campaign got a lot more energy after that. And so he just started telling folks like, you need to go to ‘The Breakfast Club,’" Charlamagne said. 

The program went on to welcome both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during the 2016 primary and a large swath of 2020 hopefuls. 

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"Our audience loves political talk," Charlamagne said. "Black people aren't a monolith, you know. Brown people aren't a monolith. We're American citizens too. We care about what's going on in the world."

After dominating in morning radio, Charlamagne began taking on a new endeavor last year into the world of late night.

"Late night TV is something I always wanted to do," Charlamagne said. "I love Bill Maher's show. I used to love ‘Chelsea Lately’ back in the day when [Chelsea Handler] was on E! And I always wanted to do a show like that. I always wanted to do a show where you bring together these panels- and I know that my situation is different because I have so many connections in so many different worlds. Like, I can have a panel where I have, you know, Marianne Williamson, Brandon Marshall and Sam Jay, a comic. I can have Angela Rye, Malcolm Gladwell and Roy Wood Jr. I can mix all of these different worlds from politics to hip hop to pop culture. You know, I can mix all of these different worlds. And so that's something that I really cherish. And I thank God that I have that opportunity. I thank God that I have that opportunity to do it."

Charlamagne Tha God leads a panel discussion on his Comedy Central show "Hell Of a Week." Courtesy of Charlamagne Tha God © Courtesy of Charlamagne Tha God Charlamagne Tha God leads a panel discussion on his Comedy Central show "Hell Of a Week." Courtesy of Charlamagne Tha God

Charlamagne's Comedy Central program has already gone through drastic changes since his late night debut in September 2021, when it was called "Tha God's Honest Truth." 

"The title change was simply because, you know, the suits felt like when they did the research and stuff 'Tha God's Honest Truth' didn't necessarily read like a talk show, you know, they didn't read like a late night talk show, a once a week late night talk show," Charlamagne said. "So that's why ‘Hell Of a Week,’ you know that you can come here on Thursday night, 11:30, right after ‘The Daily Show,’ get your recap of everything that's been going on in the week. And I mean, that was a great move. That's why you don't argue with the people who do this for a living. You know, they were right."

In addition to the name change, the weekly show underwent a significant formatting shift away from monologue-centric content and towards panel discussions.

"I really was trying to do something different Season One… I'm a fan of Jon Stewart and what he was doing with ‘The Daily Show.’ You know, I'm a fan of what Trevor Noah did on ‘The Daily Show.’ I'm a fan of what John Oliver does on ‘Last Week Tonight.’ So I tried to do a lot of- I didn't try, I did that straight to camera, you know, long monologue type of thing… It's a strength, but it's not something that I should play to," Charlamagne said. "My strength conversation. I like having conversations with people. I like bringing people together from different worlds, you know, and having good conversation. And I feel like, you know, in the first season, it's kind of like taking away one of your superpowers, you know, like like like I got I think I got more than one superpower…. So, yeah, I'm just playing to my strengths more in this new iteration."

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