Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is building on the momentum from Roy Moore’s victory in the Alabama Senate runoff to recruit other populist-economic nationalist candidates to challenge Republican establishment incumbents in 2018, CNN’s Dana Bash reports.
Bannon is also making clear there will be retribution for Republican consultants who betrayed the party’s grassroots and misled the president about the state of the Alabama race. At the top of that list is Luther Strange campaign operative Jeff Roe.
“The populist movement is going to do a house cleaning of all those individuals that made a living off the conservative grassroots while stabbing them in the back,” a source familiar with Bannon’s thinking tells CNN.
Bannon is beginning that effort by trying to blackball GOP campaign strategist Jeff Roe, who worked for Sen. Luther Strange, who lost Tuesday’s primary to Roy Moore. Bannon is spreading the word that he believes Roe is responsible for dirty tactics against Moore, and alleging that Roe worked with President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner to mislead Trump about the state of the race in Alabama in and around Trump’s endorsement of Strange.
As for Roe, Bannon is even telling potential GOP candidates that he won’t meet with them if they hire Roe, a veteran strategist who managed Sen. Ted Cruz’ presidential campaign in 2016.
Following his speech at Moore’s victory rally Tuesday night where Bannon credited “the people” with the victory, he vowed to help the populist wing of the GOP win other Senate battles in 2018.
To that end, he flew from Alabama to Colorado to begin recruiting western candidates to run against Republican incumbents…. Bannon also plans to head back down south to have meetings with those who may want to run in Tennessee for the seat Sen. Bob Corker announced he will vacate, and in Mississippi, to challenge sitting Republican Sen. Roger Wicker.
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