He described it like "Christmas, your birthday and Hanukkah wrapped in one," because of the way it would have mobilized conservative activists.
It was particularly emblematic because, according to Carlson, the conservative movement is "held together by shared dislikes."
"Bill Clinton was the glue that held the conservative movement together" through the 1990's he said.
Now, it's time to figure out Republicans want. Or don't want again. "A lot of politics, as is life, is stopping bad things from happening," Carlson. He said it was okay for Republicans to say "I don't know what I am for, but I don't want that."
"There's no shame in telling other people to back off," Carlson declared.
UPDATE: Carlson was roundly booed by the audience for holding up the New York Times as an example of good journalism.
"They spell names right," Carlson said. The audience didn't want to hear it. Carlson gave the NYT credit for digging up original stories and for having properly edited content. A woman yelled out the papers was "twisted" in response.
"It's a liberal paper, okay, I knew that when I was a kid, my point is let's get our own papers!" he told her later during Q & A when she followed up with her earlier comments.
Carlson is currently embarking on his own conservative news project, which he briefly discussed at the conference.