Last night on his MSNBC show, conservative pundit Tucker Carlson said it was “totally unacceptable” for Vice President Cheney to drink prior to hunting. Carlson said, “I’ve been on dozens of hunts, there’s no beer served as lunch. You can’t drink a beer if you shoot, period. Doesn’t matter if you’re shooting five hours after, you’re not allowed to do it.”
He also made a couple of other important points:
1. Cheney “does take heart medication that, combined with alcohol, could make him a bit woozy.”
2. “[W]e don’t have a blood alcohol reading from the Vice President, we don’t know what exactly was in his blood.”
CARLSON: So was it irresponsible for the Vice President to fire a weapon after having a beer? After all, the man does take heart medication that, combined with alcohol, could make him a bit woozy. We bring in now former deputy assistant to the President, Brad Blakeman. He joins us live tonight from Washington. Brad, thanks for coming on.
BLAKEMAN: Pleasure Tucker.
CARLSON: I suspect you think a lot of this controversy over how the Vice President handled his press operations is overblown and silly.
CARLSON: Yeah, I completely agree with you. I think it’s been an embarrassment to the press corps and I’m embarrassed to be a journalist when I see it. However, the question of whether the Vice President was drinking before he shot, even one beer, I think is significant because you’re not supposed to do that.
BLAKEMAN: Well, that’s not so. It’s a situation where the Vice President admitted he had one beer at lunch, five hours prior to the incident. And as a matter of law, and as a matter of science, that one beer could not have had any impact on the Vice President one way or the other.
CARLSON: Well, I don’t know we know it was five hours before the incident. I don’t think in his interview today — unless you’ve spoken to him separately — I don’t think he was that specific. But we don’t — and of course because we don’t have a blood alcohol reading from the Vice President, we don’t know what exactly was in his blood — But we do know, that it is considered totally unacceptable, and I’m sure you know this and I can tell you if you don’t, to drink before shooting. People just don’t do it and they don’t do it because it’s a very dangerous sport and it gets more dangerous if you drink.
BLAKEMAN: It depends on when you ingested the drink. And if you ingested the drink five hours or four hours even before shooting — one beer. It cannot have a deteriorous effect on you as a matter of science. It’s completely out of your science.
CARLSON: Huh, that’s interesting. I don’t think that’s settled science. And I —
BLAKEMAN: I have it right here with me –
CARLSON: Let me just finish my sentence. I don’t think that we know what medications the Vice President is on. I think we know that he is on some medications to respond to the coronary problems that he’s had. And it’s not clear what effect the mixture of beer with those medicines has, and I guess my question to you Brad, is why take the chance? The reason people don’t drink before they hunt — and they’re really uptight about it in most hunts. I mean they say, you can’t drink, period, until you put the gun down for the rest of the day. And the reason they do that is why take the chance? Why did he take the chance? Why do this?
BLAKEMAN: There is no chance. One beer, cannot — and I have the figures right here with me, the blood alcohol charts — that a man of his size, his age, and one beer ingested, which he admitted to — he said I drank one beer with lunch, four to five hours before the incident — it cannot, as a matter of science, have any effect, whatsoever, on a human being. Now, you talk about medication. The Vice President travels with a doctor. Do you think the doctor would have allowed him to have one beer if it would have had a deterious effect on his health? I think not.
CARLSON: I think Cheney gets to do pretty much whatever he wants, which is why he got to have a beer at lunch on a hunt. I’ve been on dozens of hunts, there’s no beer served as lunch. You can’t drink a beer if you shoot, period. Doesn’t matter if you’re shooting five hours after, you’re not allowed to do it. This is the only time I’ve ever heard of it, and I think he gets to do it because he’s the Vice President. So no, I don’t think his doctor’s going to tell him to not have a beer.