For its inaugural episode, the SiriusXM Patriot Channel show The Road To CPAC 2017 interviewed Senior Counselor to the President Stephen K. Bannon to ask just what CPAC meant to the rise of President-elect Donald J. Trump.
The Road To CPAC 2017, a limited run series hosted by the Chairman of the American Conservative Union, Matt Schlapp, and Fox News contributor and columnist Mercedes Schlapp, will be heard starting on January 14 at 9:00 a.m. eastern time on SiriusXM Patriot 125.
Every February, conservatives from across the country descend on National Harbor, Maryland for CPAC, The Conservative Political Action Conference. As the 2017 event approaches, SiriusXM Patriot Presents “The Road To CPAC 2017” to discuss the role of CPAC in the coming age of Trump. To kick off that discussion, the hosts spoke to Stephen K. Bannon, former head of Breitbart News and now one of President-elect Trump’s top White House advisers.
The hosts wondered just what role CPAC came to play in the rise of Trump. Bannon said of Trump’s victory in November:
President-elect Trump — we had a very special guy who really understood and really started to make this thing a movement. And it started really at CPAC many years ago when he gave that great speech in 2013. He gave that great speech at CPAC that I think really got people’s attention that he was someone of consequence that really understood the grassroots movement and maybe understood the more populist and nationalist side of that.
“But I think CPAC really kicked off the beginnings of this movement and his drive to the nomination and to the presidency. So I think that CPAC is always something we looked at as a huge gathering of the tribes,” the presidential adviser added.
Bannon also spoke to why he felt Trump was able to win the White House.
I think it’s where the country is economically and I think from its sovereignty and its national security and also from being this kind of regulatory state. To me the election was very simple… places like Silicon Valley and the financial district of New York City and Wall Street and Hollywood had been a beneficiary of the rise of Asia and particularly the rise of the Asian middle class. And whether this is in Europe or the United States, the working class and the middle class in those nations had actually subsidized that. And so I think that people looked around and they saw the country deteriorating, they saw their economic well-being and their lives deteriorating, they saw the ability to pass down to future generations good, well-paying jobs. And regardless of whether international institutions like the World Trade Organization, or NAFTA, or these trade deals like TPP, they felt like nobody was listening to them, that they had no representatives. I think that this movement is a grassroots, populist movement and Donald Trump really became the voice of that and made it ten times bigger to take the White House.
So, you see that every day… if you listen to the Patriot Channel callers all day, I think you get that feeling of where the country is. And besides all the elites, and the media elites particularly, that mocked and ridiculed what I lovingly term the John McCain’s Hobbits or, you know, Hillary Clinton’s Deplorables — those people really, I think, are great patriots, they’re the backbone of our civic society, and they spoke very clearly on November 8. And that’s why Trump was able to win states that had been out of reach for Republicans for a while, like Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and [he] came very close to winning a state like Minnesota.
Bannon noted that all the President-elect’s work so far as he gears up to begin his presidency has only “reinforced how he has those people’s interests in mind.”
As Trump deals with corporations and businesses in a position to bring jobs and investment back to the U.S., we are already seeing the fruits of those discussions, Bannon said.
“You look at every day it’s another announcement, somebody making another billion-dollar investment in capital equipment and/or manufacturing in the United States. I think you see where his dedication and his focus is,” Bannon told the Sirius hosts.
Bannon also praised the great American middle class as not only the backbone of the country but as the force that brought Trump to Washington.
After noting that he comes from a great family of American soldiers — Bannon himself served in the U.S. Navy — the White House adviser proudly related that his own daughter is a Captain in the U.S. Army who served a tour in Iraq and said that it is such patriotic Americans that are the “great bulk of this counrty.”
It is these people, Bannon said, whose voice he heard calling for someone like Trump to come to fix D.C. Bannon went on to say:
When I heard the voices of these people, as you go throughout the country, that the jobs are missing, the factories have been shipped away, they’re concerned about American sovereignty, they see illegal aliens — taking jobs from the Hispanic and African American working class — are competing for jobs. It was pretty evident, I think, the direction the country was going, and that’s why I think Donald Trump offered such a clear alternative to that from Hillary Clinton.
The hosts wondered how he withstood the constant attacks from the left, but ultimately Bannon said the attacks don’t bother him much. The Democrat Party is not offering any solutions, and he feels they need to lead or get out of the way.
With that, Bannon told the hosts he had to go, as the President-elect was calling. And what better reason to put a halt to an interview than when the leader of the free world is calling for advice?
For more great interviews in the weeks to come, check out The Road To CPAC 2017 heard Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. eastern time on SiriusXM Patriot 125.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.