Pollak on Steve Bannon’s ‘War’: The Establishment Started It

Bannon and Priebus at CPAC (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
Joel Pollak / Breitbart News

After Steve Bannon’s interview with Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes Sunday evening, the CBS News website blared: “BREITBART’S BANNON DECLARES WAR ON THE GOP.”

“Steve is correct in saying we are at war. I would, however, add that it’s not a war that we started. It’s not a war the Republican base started. It’s not a war the Tea Party started,” Breitbart News Senior Editor At-Large and Breitbart California Editor Joel Pollak said in an interview Monday morning with Chicago talk radio host Dan Proft and Chicago Tribune Editorial writer Kristen McQueary.

“It’s a war that the establishment started against the voter base of the party.”

Pollak referenced closed-door and off-the-record meetings with members of the Republican establishment and the “donor class” before, during and after the 2012 election.

“It’s not just a talking point or some kind of a political counterpunch. It’s actually the truth,” said Pollak. “They wanted a civil war against the Republican base after 2012. They wanted to blame the 2012 loss — where Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama, and Barack Obama was re-elected – they wanted to blame that on the Republican base. In their minds, they rationalized that loss by arguing or believing – convincing themselves to believe — that Mitt Romney had been pulled to the right by the Tea Party and therefore the electorate had rejected him for that reason.”

Pollak pointed to the Republican party’s “autopsy” –a 100-page report in which the GOP tried to break down the reasons for the loss and make recommendations for the future.

“So when they did the autopsy after 2012 and they published it, they assumed that Congress would pass immigration reform  — or amnesty — it was just a one-liner dropped in there. All the other policies they thought the Republican {arty needed to adopt, all the changes they need to make — they were discussed in-depth and in detail because they knew people would disagree with various aspects of it.

“But they just presumed that amnesty would get pushed through, and that this was very important because Mitt Romney had done so poorly among Latino voters. They decided that there wasn’t going to be a debate about that issue. They were just going to push out those who disagreed with the establishment’s view on that issue and other issues.

“And they said, ‘We want to go to war against the base. We want to get these people out of the party.’ And they’re not talking about the extremists, the fringe element — who aren’t Republicans anyway. They’re talking about the ordinary voter. They’re talking about the Trump voter who showed up and gave him power in 2016.

“This is a war they started.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.