The Citadel Republican Society presented Breitbart News executive chairman and former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon with its Nathan Hale Patriot Award on Friday night, a Revolutionary War musket like Hale’s.
The group hosted Bannon at their Citadel Patriot dinner where he spoke to the crowd for about 45 minutes ahead of the presentation.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster presented the award to Bannon. He remarked that he had only heard two people speak the way Bannon had. The other was President Donald Trump.
“We [are] in a tight spot,” McMaster told the crowd after saying that everything Bannon had just told the crowd was true. “Can you imagine what would have happened if Hillary Clinton had won?” He predicted that “the left is on the run and fighting for their life.” He said the left will do anything, say anything, because they know they need to reclaim power soon or lose it for a long time.
“Nobody did more to elect Trump than Steve Bannon,” said McMaster to loud applause and cheers from the crowd.
Bannon received the award with thanks: “I’m very honored. Thank you.” Cheers, applause, and even a whistle came from the crowd.
One of the cadets read Hale’s renowned declaration: “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” The cadet marked them as the words Hale spoke before the British executed him in September 1776 for spying on them.
The cadet explained that Bannon was being presented with a Revolutionary War musket that was the same as Hale would have used.
The group then sang the Citadel Alma Mater. The portion they sang was:
Oh Citadel, we sing thy fame
For all the world to hear.
And in the Paths our fathers showed us
Follow without fear.
Peace and Honor, God and Country,
We will fight for thee.
Oh Citadel, we praise thee now
And in Eternity.
McMaster faces primary challenges from Catherine Templeton, who introduced Bannon before his speech, and Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant. Templeton also took part in a meeting between Bannon and a group of black South Carolina business leaders earlier the same day. The former labor chief has remained in touch with Bannon, according to the Associated Press. Bannon has not made an endorsement in the race.
The group presented Trump with the Nathan Hale Patriot Award more than a year before his 2016 presidential election win.
Bannon’s entire speech:
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.