DES MOINES — Friendly conversations between moderator Tucker Carlson and Republican presidential hopeful Asa Hutchinson quickly devolved during an onstage interview Friday at the Family Leadership Summit, a large gathering of social conservatives.
Right off the bat, Carlson asked the former Arkansas governor if his stance has changed since he vetoed a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth in 2021.
Hutchinson defended his position, saying that while he agreed minors should not have transgender surgery, he felt the bill went too far.
“It was unconstitutional. It interfered with parents and so I took the side of parents on this bill to deal with the toughest issue a parent can face. And I believe in a limited role for government “, did he declare.
Carlson continued to press him on the matter, and the two straddled each other’s words throughout the conversation.
As Carlson repeatedly questioned him about the care of transgender minors, Hutchinson asked Carlson to move on.
“Tucker, I hope you can talk about some issues. I know that –” before Carlson cuts him off.
“Well, that’s one of the biggest problems in the country and I think I would be, everyone in this room would agree,” Carlson said.
Tensions escalated further when the former Fox News host turned to vaccines, asking how many shots Hutchinson had received.
“How many COVID vaccines have you taken? Hutchinson asked back.
“Zero” Carlson quickly responded to loud applause.
At one point, as Carlson repeatedly asked Hutchinson if he would send troops to the border, Hutchinson interjected, “I’ll finish my answer first,” before explaining why he would prefer to use the National Guard and other alternatives. to the military.
For the remaining 15 minutes, he received only light applause from the crowd. Speaking to reporters after his interview with Carlson, Hutchinson said he still believes he has won over voters in Iowa.
“I think the audience was engaged in the conversation and with a different point of view,” Hutchinson said, adding, “I think I got some votes today.”
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com