Jeff Sessions Rising: Wall Street Losing Control over Republican Party Heading Into 2016

REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

GREENVILLE, South Carolina — The Wall Street donor class is rapidly losing control over the Republican Party heading into the 2016 presidential primary process, all while Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) moves into a key kingmaker role on the trail with messaging while most candidates are searching for a sweet spot with conservative economic populism.

Two issues in particular truly highlight the contrast between candidates of, by, and for the donor class, and those who stand up for Americans against special interests in Washington and on Wall Street. As this fundamental shift away from the billionaires and towards the voters happens, there are really only two GOP presidential contenders in 2016 who fit the mold of what the donor class is looking for: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

However, virtually everyone other 2016 GOP presidential contender—even if they disagree with Sessions or grassroots outsiders on one or two issues—is challenging the political class’s way of thinking on a regular basis, not going-along-to-get-along, and causing a crisis amid the donor class scrambling to regain control of a political party it once dominated.

“Free trade is a good thing, there’s no question about that—you look at a country like Chile that was really off in the woods economically and you look at what they’ve done with their trade policies and where they are now—but it needs to be done the proper way,” Dr. Ben Carson, a world-leading pediatric neurosurgeon and just-declared 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News here at the South Carolina Freedom Summit. “We’ve seen what happens when you try to rush something through without having adequate oversight. We need to recognize that whether it’s good or whether it’s bad, we need to be able to have a complete discussion. That’s why our government was set up the way that it is. So, I’m all for a trade deal and for free trade and for the benefits of that, but let’s get the right input so we put the right things in it so we all benefit and it’s done the right way.”


Carson’s warning is one that has cropped up among several other GOP presidential candidates—either declared or potential—ahead of 2016, who are warning Americans against standing down so President Barack Obama and congressional GOP leadership can, at Wall Street’s urging, rush through the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that would fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal with several Asian countries like Vietnam, Japan, and more.

“Free trade is a good thing and I would love to be able to support this thing, but unfortunately we don’t know what’s in it—and that’s the problem,” Carly Fiorina, a fellow 2016 GOP presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO, said in an interview here. “We’ve seen too many deals in this administration where they sound like a good thing—remember Obamacare? The goal sounded great and then it turned out the details were something very different. And so, I think we need to see the details.

“It’s hard for me to understand why the president—who’s pitching this deal so hard—won’t just give us some understanding of what’s in it. For example, one of the purposes of this deal was to solidify our leadership in a region so that we could push back a little against a newly assertive China. Now we’re hearing that maybe China could join this deal in a couple years. Is that true? Is it not? I don’t know. We need to know those kinds of details, which are pretty important.”


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warned against the trade deal in his announcement speech, too, saying that any increase in cheap foreign labor imported into the United States would destroy American workers’ chances at the American dream.

“I don’t judge the success of government by how many people are on assistance, but by how many people have good jobs and don’t need government assistance,” Huckabee said in Hope, Arkansas last week when he announced his presidential campaign. “And we don’t create good jobs for Americans by entering into unbalanced trade deals that forgo Congressional scrutiny and looking the other way as the law is ignored so we can import low wage labor, undercut American workers, and drive wages lower than the Dead Sea.”

With so many high-profile Republicans following Sessions’ lead on this—Huckabee, Carson, and Fiorina are hardly the only ones—it’s no wonder why the donor class’s choice publication, the Wall Street Journal, is desperately attempting to fire at Sessions heading into 2016.

“Here we go again. In the 1990s Pat Buchanan launched a civil war within the Republican Party on a platform targeting immigration and trade. Some claimed Pitchfork Pat was the future of the GOP, though in the end he mainly contributed to its presidential defeats,” the WSJ editorial board wrote. “In the waning days of the Obama Presidency the GOP’s Buchanan wing is making a comeback, and in ways that are revealing about its ultimate agenda.

“The leader of this movement in Congress is Jeff Sessions, who has long railed against illegal immigration but since becoming chairman of the Senate’s subcommittee on immigration has taken a more public stance against legal immigration. Now he’s opposing the bipartisan effort to pass trade promotion authority and in the process showing that his objections aren’t only about the law or immigrants. They’re rooted in the same hostility to markets and globalization that animates the slow-growth Democratic left.”

The WSJ editorial board continued by attacking Sessions’ lengthy “critical alert” about the interconnected TPA and TPP deals, insulting him as an “Alabama tub-thumper” and “protectionist politician” who is “indulging in the classic tactic of the anti-trade movement: scare mongering.”

The Journal, without offering any facts to support its argument, wrote too that Sessions’ conservative economic populism “is no way to rebuild a conservative majority.”

“What America’s working families need most after the Obama era is a healthy, vibrant, and growing economy that creates more jobs, increases paychecks and expands opportunity,” the WSJ editorial board wrote. “A trade deal that would help open up a market of one billion people to the goods and services produced by the American worker is an excellent place to start.”

Who does the Journal recommend listening to, then, if not Sessions? None other than House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who, when he was the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, helped drive the Republican Party off a cliff. Republicans, including Ryan and his running mate Mitt Romney, substantially lost what was supposed to be an easy election against President Barack Obama. Obama sailed to re-election with Ryan at the GOP messaging helm—keys to the car, so to speak—and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) stayed in control of the U.S. Senate for two more years despite a favorable map for Republicans in 2012.

It wasn’t until Sessions forcibly took control of the party message heading into the 2014 midterm elections that Republicans won big time, taking back the U.S. Senate and enlarging their House majority. That only came after a year plus of GOP infighting while Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush joined forces with Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), pushing open borders immigration policies coupled with amnesty via the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. While the Senate passed the bill in a bloody process, the House never took up the immigration bill—and the 113th Congress came and went without any amnesty passed into law.

Republicans won big as they railed against President Obama’s then-just-planned executive amnesty—which he went ahead and did anyway despite every inside-the-beltway political prognosticator being wrong about the necessity of Gang of Eight style “immigration reform” for the GOP’s survival as a political party—and as the effects of immigration, legal and illegal, dominated the discussion amid a surge on the border—news of which was first broken by Breitbart Texas.

“In the next 30 days, we’ll make an announcement of what our intentions are,” former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who activated the national guard in his state to respond to the border crisis last year, told Breitbart News here in an exclusive interview.

Perry—who does support the TPA deal, but on grounds much different than most others who support it—laid out how he’s not just backing policies because donors tell him to, like Rubio and Bush have done.

“The preparation for this lasts a long time,” Perry said. “I knew if I wanted to put myself in a position to be a candidate that I had to start preparing a monetary policy, a foreign policy, a domestic policy years ago. That’s exactly what we’ve done. We’ve spent the time becoming very, very capable of standing on the stage talking about those.

“The executive experience of 14 years of being the governor of the state of Texas, they stand on their own—and the economy, what we’ve created there, I’m proud of that and I’ll stand on the stage and debate anybody anywhere any time. What occurred in Texas, the principles we put in place, they’ll work anywhere—we just need a chief executive in this country that will allow that to happen.”


Immigration and trade are both intricately connected as issues, as on both, the same political and financial elites line up on either side of the football. In favor of opening the floodgates on both without restriction—on trade and immigration—are the establishment forces from both political parties and the donor class. In fact, the Wall Street Journal even admits it has called for wide open borders on immigration since 1984.

“During the immigration debate of 1984 we suggested an ultimate goal to guide passing policies — a constitutional amendment: ‘There shall be open borders,’” Robert Bartley, the former editor of the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, wrote in a 2001 column pushing to similarly open the floodgates on trade policy—having essentially the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) turn into a western hemisphere version of the European Union. Bartley’s comments came in support of that came in response to comments from then-Mexican president Vicente Fox, who said he believes: “NAFTA should evolve into something like the European Union, with open borders for not only goods and investment but also people.”

As such, it’s no wonder why the Wall Street Journal editorial board would launch a missive at Sen. Sessions similar to the trade one from Sunday night just a couple weeks ago. In response to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the current 2016 GOP frontrunner, coming out as a strong immigration populist—praised by high-profile conservatives from Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol to National Review editor Rich Lowry to Ann Coulter to Phyllis Schlafly to former Sen. Scott Brown to Sean Hannity and many more—the WSJ editorial board launched a missive at Walker and Sessions.

Writing at Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, Rachel Stoltfoos detailed how the WSJ’s shot at Walker and Sessions was “sloppy” and how it presents “no ‘facts’ to back up its position.”

So why is the Wall Street Journal on a rampage against Sessions? Perhaps it’s because that donor class the Wall Street Journal editorial board represents—who Sessions calls the “Masters of the Universe”—are losing influence in a big way over the Republican Party. While they still clearly have a stranglehold over most of the congressional GOP leadership, on the campaign trail—especially the Republican presidential nomination contest—they’re losing control while Sessions’ populism is taking over.

In an exclusive op-ed and then interview for Breitbart News before the Freedom Summit—something he highlighted in his speech here—former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who’s expected to announce his 2016 presidential campaign in a couple weeks just outside Pittsburgh, has called for a 25 percent reduction in the level of immigration to the United States while struggling American workers get back to work.

“I talked a lot about that inside—I talked about the op-ed for Breitbart and even mentioned that it was on Breitbart,” Santorum said in an interview here after his speech, before joking: “I encouraged people to go to your website, so a percentage kickback on some revenues.”

Striking a serious tone, Santorum then explained how “we talked about how serious it is from a national security perspective on immigration but also from an American worker perspective.”

“What’s happening here is competition—supply and demand—and when you have 35 million people in the last 20 years come in, and net new jobs created in the last 15 years just 6 million, all of them held by people who weren’t born in this country,” Santorum said. “It tells you there’s an equilibrium problem and that we need to address that. I put forth a specific proposal on that but I also went further and said we have to create job opportunities for 74 percent of Americans age 18 to 65 who don’t have a college degree and that means manufacturing and construction and other types of jobs that are good-paying jobs that create wealth and opportunity for everybody to rise.”


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, in an interview with Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon here, laid out how there is a serious problem with assimilation of immigrants into America nowadays—essentially an abandonment of the “melting pot” that America was once known for. Jindal laid out how the left’s multicultural agenda is creating an identity crisis in the United States.

“In the West, we need to insist on assimilation and integration,” Jindal, a likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said. “It used to be common sense that we used to believe that if you wanted to come to our country you should want to be an American. Now, it’s not politically correct to say that. No longer are we proud to call ourselves a melting pot. We’ve got these hyphenated Americans—African-Americans, Asian-Americans—we need to stop all that. We’re Americans. And if people don’t want to be Americans, they shouldn’t come here.”

Bannon followed up by asking about how Jindal’s personal background and story—his parents were immigrants—“speaks to that.”

“My parents came here over 40 years ago—the first time they got on a plane was to come to America—and they came for freedom and opportunity,” Jindal said. “They came to be Americans. They came for the American dream. My mom said, ‘look, if I wanted to raise you as Indians, I would have stayed in India. I wanted to raise Americans.’ Sometimes, outsiders have a greater appreciation for how special our country is. My dad told my brother and me every day growing up that we need to thank God we were blessed to be born in the greatest country in the history of the world. We mustn’t give that away.”

Jindal continued by noting that, with the themes of assimilation and integration, “we cannot allow those who come to impose their own beliefs on us” and warned about how in Europe there are “communities where they are trying to impose as much of Sharia law as they can.”

“You’ve got communities where women don’t feel they belong in those neighborhoods without veils,” Jindal said. “That’s not acceptable. We used to insist on integration in this country. We need to continue. That means English. That means teaching about American exceptionalism in our history and civics classes. That means insisting those who want to come to our country should want to be Americans.”


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is another 2016 contender who has Wall Street’s donor class terrified with his tough talk on immigration, even though he’s for the trade deal. Cruz, who came on stage to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” suggested that it’s time to take all the IRS employees and put them on the U.S. border with Mexico to deter illegal immigration.

“We should abolish the IRS,” Cruz said. “There are about 90,000 employees at the IRS. We need to padlock that building and take every one of those 90,000 and put them on our southern border. Now, to our friends in the media, I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but think about it for a second: Imagine you had traveled thousands of miles in the blazing sun, you’re swimming across the Rio Grande and the first thing you see is 90,000 IRS agents. You’d turn around and go home, too!”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was out in Silicon Valley opening a new campaign presence there during the Freedom Summit here, freaks Wall Street out, too. In addition to opposing amnesty—he voted against Rubio’s Bush-backed Gang of Eight immigration bill—he’d audit the Federal Reserve, something the donor class definitely doesn’t want.

Then there’s Donald Trump, the always affable real estate magnate who’s against both open borders immigration policies and bad trade deals like the TPP deal that TPA would fast-track, who, in his speech to this group, lit into lobbyists in Washington.

“I don’t give a shit about lobbyists,” Trump shouted in the room, gaining the largest standing ovation all day.

“The politicians—look, who knows it better than me, I have lobbyists and I know it from inside out, the lobbyists control the politicians totally,” Trump said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News after his speech. “The politicians do whatever the lobbyists and their contributors want them to do. But the lobbyists control—that’s why the country can never be great. Politicians are all talk, no action, and if they wanted to do the right thing, the lobbyists who work for many different factors will tell them you can’t do that.”


Even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier this year, slammed Bush’s plan to replace the people of the economically struggling Detroit with immigrants. “I think that statement is misdirecting the priorities because what I would be concerned about would be the people that are in Detroit right now. The hardworking people who stuck with Detroit and who have stayed there,” Christie said then of Bush’s arguments. “We want to create economic opportunities for them, we want to create a better educational system for them so that they can have a better future, so that’s misdirecting the goal here first of all.”

Looking at 2016 polling data, each of these outsider type candidates are running circles around Rubio and Bush—the donor class’s candidates have worse odds than what even Sheldon Adelson could gin up in his casinos for players against the house. Rubio has seen a spike since announcing his candidacy, but between both Rubio and Bush, they’re not even breaking 25 percent. The latest Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm New Hampshire poll has Paul and Walker tied in the lead with 12 percent. Rubio and Bush tie for second with 11 percent each, while Trump takes 8 percent, Christie takes 7 percent, Cruz 6 percent, 5 percent, Huckabee 4 percent, and Fiorina 3 percent. Everyone else is at 1 percent or under, meaning the Wall Street candidates—Rubio and Bush—take together just 22 percent compared to 78 percent for everyone else.

Moving over to Iowa, the latest poll from Quinnipiac there has Walker with 21 percent, Paul and Rubio tied for second with 13 percent each, Cruz in third with 12 percent, Huckabee with 11 percent, Carson with 7 percent, Bush with just 5 percent, Christie and Perry tied with 3 percent and Santorum and Fiorina tied with 2 percent. That means Wall Street’s guys—Rubio and Bush—combine for just 18 percent compared to 82 percent for everyone else.

No matter what polls you look at it, it’s a similar situation. So it’s quite clear, for now, Sessions is winning his war against the “Masters of the Universe.” That’s why Wall Street, and its journal, are trembling.


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