NBC’s Chuck Todd: Bannon Is ‘a Lot of Hat and Not Much Cattle’

PAM KEY

Sunday, the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd, said the executive chairman of Breitbart News Steve Bannon is “a lot of hat and not much cattle.”

Partial transcript as follows:

KIM STRASSEL: Well, I just think there’s a level of frustration. You heard the chief of staff say this as well in his meeting, that people are so focused on these internal “what’s going on in the president’s head” and do his allies, are they still happy with him? And no one’s paying attention to what’s really going on out there. You know, the Iranian deal. In fact, it is Bob Corker and Tom Cotton who are working on legislation–

CHUCK TODD: But you know who’s stoking these fires? Steve Bannon.

KIM STRASSEL: Yeah, well yes.

CHUCK TODD: Look what he did yesterday. He unloaded, basically said, “If you don’t denounce Corker and McConnell, you’re on my list.” And he name checked.

KIM STRASSEL: Yes, I agree.

CHUCK TODD: Certain people like Deb Fisher of Nebraska. Seriously?

KIM STRASSEL: Yeah, I know, you’re going to go after her?

KASIE HUNT: And the broader strategy here, I think we’ve talked about the president kicking all of these things to Congress, I mean, it sets up very well for 2020. The president just goes out there and says, “This priority, this priority, this priority. Congress, you have at it.” They do nothing. Who’s in a good position? Him.

CHUCK TODD: Okay, it sets him up. What does it do to Republicans in 2018, Heather?

KIM STRASSEL: Does he care? I’m not sure he cares.

HEATHER MCGHEE: I’m wondering if Steve Bannon is trying to create enough of a new wave of Republican candidates that is going to be, and I don’t think this is electorally going to happen, but I think there’s a sense that there’s an even more extreme, more pro-Trump wave of Republican candidates that he’s trying to field in 2018.

KIM STRASSEL: Well, a lot of the people though that we’re talking about here, and not necessarily big successful case studies out there, I mean, you look at Nevada, Danny Tarkanian, how many times has he lost? Five times? I think, and you know, and also–

HEATHER MCGHEE: I agree, I don’t think there’s an electoral path, but —

KASIE HUNT: –how many Republican donors do you actually get behind this movement? Steve Bannon is saying, “Well, I think it’s something that the Republicans need to be aware of. But we still need to see if it’s going to work.”

CHUCK TODD: Do you take this Bannon stuff seriously, Dan? Or is he a little bit, there’s times that he strikes me as a lot of hat and not much cattle.

DAN BALZ: I do, and I don’t. I mean, I take it seriously because he has a megaphone right now and he has a platform that he is using. And, you know, in the same ways that Trump is a disruptor from where he is, Steve Bannon is disrupting. And the more tension and the more infighting and the more, you know, anger there is created in the base against the Republican establishment, the more difficult it is to get all these other things done.

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