Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon, co-hosting with Raheem Kassam on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily, offered a Tuesday morning recap of Monday night’s rally for Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama GOP Senate primary.
A caller’s description of the Alabama Senate contest as a “bellwether race,” akin to the landmark primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by relative unknown Dave Brat in Virginia in 2014, prompted Bannon to look back at Donald Trump’s equally surprising anti-establishment victory in the presidential contest.
Bannon said that if the mainstream media would “listen to the American people and listen to working-class and middle-class people,” they would have seen the signs of Trump’s victory in the summer of 2016.
“When I jumped on the campaign as the CEO, with 88 days left, you don’t have a lot of time to think through some sophisticated strategy,” he recalled. “We really got down to very much basics. It was guys like you throughout the country that said, ‘Hey, Trump can win in places like Wisconsin. Trump can win in places like Minnesota. Trump can win in Michigan. Trump can win in Pennsylvania.’ We just did statistical analysis off of the comments you guys had been saying, and that’s what led to the victory, ultimately.”
Bannon remarked that the establishment is too busy dismissing its own base as “rubes and morons” to hear what they are saying.
“I’m not trying to pick on you all, but they do think you’re a bunch of rubes and morons,” he said. “Luther Strange comes down here, and he’s got $32 million from all the cronies and the corporatists and the fat-cat donors to Mitch McConnell, and he stands up and says, ‘I’m going to take on Mitch. I’m going to stand up to Mitch. That’s the reason you’ve got to elect me – because I’m going to stand up to Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill.’ And he expects people to believe that.”
“This money that was brought in to destroy Judge Moore and his wife, like they tried to destroy Donald Trump and his wife, came from the corporatists and the fat-cat donors who are not from Alabama,” he charged.
When another caller worried that the anti-establishment insurgency could leave the Republican Party fielding “a bunch of unknowns” against high-profile, well-funded Democrat candidates in the general election, Bannon proposed that the establishment’s squandering of Republican voter morale after the stunning 2016 victory would be a bigger problem in 2018.
“I think it goes with the DACA situation,” he mused. “When DACA came up – and one of the reasons I was so opposed to the way the White House rolled that out afterward – is that they’re putting DACA into the middle of the 2018 electoral season. I think we’re going to have a huge fight on amnesty unless DACA is killed here in the next 60 days.”
Bannon feared that Republicans in hotly contested districts, especially those carried by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, might be tempted to assume moderate positions that frustrate and dismay the GOP base.
“The point I keep making is for Paul Ryan and leadership to show the average working American that is a conservative, to show them what’s the value of all this. What’s the value of having the House of Representatives, right?” he advised.
“You’re speaker of the house, nothing’s getting done. You’ve got an investigation on President Trump – one of the things I was railing on last night about the Republican establishment; we control the House and the Senate, and yet there are three investigations going on on President Trump with full subpoena power. Can you imagine if Hillary Clinton was President of the United States, would Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, would they have investigations going on?” he asked.
“And by the way, if this is about the Russia collusion thing, that stuff could be wrapped up in 30 to 60 days,” he noted. “This is far deeper than that. They’ve cast the net out as broad as possible. That’s what I think the reality is.”
“These people that are going to run as challengers have got to get organized,” Bannon added. “Here’s the thing that down in Alabama is showing you. Remember, it’s $30 million versus $3 million. It’s all about grassroots people. This is because today, if Judge Roy Moore wins, it’s because guys went out door-to-door, et cetera.”
Bannon noted an analysis from the Hill that “Breitbart was able to nationalize this race,” and said “the reason we did it is because of all the outside money that came here not to debate the topics or the issues of the day, but to really destroy Judge Roy Moore.”
“This is really a national issue they’re talking about,” he argued. “Donald Trump was able to drag across the finish line a half-dozen United States senators that, in fact, gave Mitch McConnell this majority, and nothing has gotten done. You can’t put all of that on Donald Trump.”
“I can tell you, working in the White House, Donald Trump – every day the guy works 20 hours a day, 18 hours a day,” he said. “We were relentless about trying to get stuff done. It’s just that the Senate and the House, but particularly the Senate, just has no urgency to it, no sense of urgency.”
“By the way, people understand the traditions and customs of the Senate – that it moves at a different pace, as the Founders wanted it to, from the House of Representatives,” Bannon added. “But we’re in a crisis in this country, particularly on the economy. We’re just not creating as many jobs as we need to, as many good jobs as we need to. We’re not bringing back manufacturing jobs as fast as we have to. President Trump is trying to push through these trade deals, trying to get on this.”
In response to a caller’s observation that the West Wing of the White House is a somewhat archaic structure that is much smaller than most of the public realizes, Bannon said the architecture of the White House and its attendant office buildings is less of a problem than constant interference by the media.
“Literally, the media is right there, cheek by jowl with the communications department,” he observed. “I said from day one not just because we’re the opposition party, but because I thought we needed more space, was to move the media across the street to the executive office building. Of course, their heads were on fire.”
Bannon said White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly has “got a process down to streamline decision-making,” which Bannon “strongly advocate[s].”
“I was very close to Reince, but I pushed hard when the president kind of made the decision or gave the indication that he was going to make a change, that Gen. Kelly should be the chief of staff,” he recalled. “That being said – and I said last night on Hannity, and I think I said it on the speech – I believe there has to be, tonight, after the situation in Alabama works itself out, there’s got to be a real internal review of how this decision-making was made for the president about Luther Strange, just to make sure he got all the information.”
Bannon saluted a former competitor for the Alabama Senate seat, Rep. Mo Brooks, as “a great populist-nationalist in the House” and described it as shocking when President Trump endorsed Strange instead.
“It’s one of the things that people are going to have to review, what information he got and when did he get it,” Bannon said.
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