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Fox's Gretchen Carlson pranked by fake Obama-turned-Romney supporter

September 17, 2012|By Meredith Blake

"Fox & Friends" co-host Gretchen Carlson got an unwelcome surprise Monday when Max Rice, a young man purporting to be a disaffected supporter of President Obama, decided to turn his appearance on the Fox News morning program into an audition tape for "Punk'd."

In a segment meant to showcase the high unemployment rate among 18- to 24-year-olds, Carlson welcomed Rice, introducing him simply as a "recent college grad" who supported Obama in 2008 but is now unemployed and only recently moved out of his parents' house.

The biographical sketch was noticeably short on specifics beyond Rice's supposed disillusionment with the president: Carlson did not mention where Rice had gone to college or what he hoped to do for a living.

Even still, from virtually the first moment Rice appeared on camera, it was evident that somewhat was not quite right. A smirk on his face, Rice greeted Carlson by saying, "Hello, Miss USA, it's an honor."

The host, a former Miss America, politely corrected Rice regarding her resume, but he would not be deterred: "Miss Universe in my book," he said.

Carlson tried mightily to stay on-message. "Now, tell me your story. You believed in the hope and change of President Obama, and so you voted for him. Now tell me about the next 3 1/2 years."

"Oh, I was a huge Obama supporter in 2008," Rice said, taking a sip of something from a Starbucks cup. "I met him in third grade."

"OK ..." Carlson said, sounding impatient. "And why now are you supporting Mitt Romney?"

"Why I am supporting Mitt Romney? It's actually a funny story," Rice said, glancing sideways. "I lost a basketball game to a friend of mine."

"OK, it sounds like you’re not being very serious about this," Carlson scolded her guest.

Rice, perhaps sensing he was about to get cut off, quickly spouted some anti-Obama talking points. "I'm also disappointed in the direction that Obama has taken this nation," Rice said, claiming that he'd be voting for Romney this time around.

But from there, he veered off course again. "I can't see your face right now, this is so weird," he said. 

Carlson finally lost her cool. "I'm not sure that you're ready for prime time yet with this interview," she said. Although she indicated Rice might have another chance to appear on "Fox & Friends" if he was more prepared, something tells us he won’t be invited back anytime soon.

Although Rice has yet to explain his appearance Monday morning, and Fox News did not respond to requests for comment on the incident, the website TV Newser uncovered video of a young man, also named Max Rice, performing some raunchy stand-up at a nearly empty coffee shop in Austin, Texas.  

Though Rice is unlikely to be invited back on "Fox & Friends" anytime soon, he can at least be happy his routine had more of an audience this time around.  

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twitter.com/@MeredithBlake

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