Following headliner Stephen K. Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News, populist-nationalist 2018 U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart addressed the Remembrance Project National Conference in Washington, DC, Saturday.
The event, at the capital’s famous Willard Hotel, featured a “who’s who” of leaders in the fight against illegal immigration, including headliner Bannon, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, and Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, in Remembrance Project’s largest annual event to honor Americans killed by illegal alien crime and the “angel families” they left behind.
Stewart, speaking afterwards with Breitbart News, called Bannon “the most powerful political figure in the United States today.” He agreed with Bannon’s assessment of the political winds in the country. “There’s momentum in the country to destroy political correctness, to do something about illegal immigration, to build the wall, and enforce immigration laws,” he said.
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie made “Mara Salvatrucha,” or MS-13, a focal point of his campaign as Tuesday’s election draws near. Fueled by illegal aliens, the transnational criminal gang has become a gruesome feature of the once placid Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC.
The issue, that has come to define the race in the last month, is no news to Stewart, who extensively raised the alarm on MS-13 and the refusal of Gillespie opponent Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam to endorse banning the “sanctuary city” policies that fuel transnational criminal organizations in other states in his primary campaign.
Just Thursday, the Department of Justice unveiled indictments for murder against four more alleged MS-13 members from Anne Arundel County, Maryland, just over the state line from the Northern Virginia communities, about which both Gillespie and Stewart have raised concerns.
“MS-13 is not just a Northern Virginia problem. It’s not just in Northern Virginia and tidewater,” Stewart told Breitbart News on Saturday. “It is spreading down the [Interstate] 81 corridor and is becoming a statewide issue … It’s an issue that will drive not only conservatives but independent voters who are concerned about it.”
Stewart, who lost to Ed Gillespie by the narrowest of margin’s in June’s GOP primary, thought his one-time opponent has done well for himself by making illegal immigration-fueled crime the central issue of his campaign. “As he’s moved to the right,” Stewart told Breitbart News of Gillespie, “as he’s embraced the issues of protecting historical monuments and cracking down on illegal immigration, I don’t think it’s a coincidence his poll numbers have improved dramatically.”
The left, including the incumbent Democrat, arch-Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, has tried to shame Gillespie’s populist turn as “racist.” Most prominent is the response of leftist PAC “Latino Victory Fund,” placing in circulation an ad showing a Gillespie supporter with a confederate flag on his pickup trying to run down Muslim and Latino children. The ad, now conclusively linked to the Northam campaign, has been called “vile” and “despicable” by the Washington Post editorial board.
Corey Stewart called the ad “by far the dumbest move by the left in the last year.”
Bannon, in his own address, broadly agreed with Stewart’s understanding of the path of the Virginia governor’s race. When he mentioned Gillespie’s name, cheers of “Corey! Corey!” erupted from the crowed. “For the Senate in ’18,” was Bannon’s reply.
“That’s a horse race now,” Bannon said. “Gillespie, what was he? Eight, ten points down two weeks ago, two and a half weeks ago?”
“If Gillespie … a Bush guy … wins, and I do believe that Gillespie’s going to pull this thing out,” Bannon continued, “it will be because of the underlying message of Corey Stewart and what he believes in, and the Trump voters in Virginia who are gonna turn out!”
Stewart was similarly optimistic about the effect of the momentum Gillespie has stirred up with his embrace of Virginia’s populist energy. “A Gillespie win or a narrow loss means there will be a lot more national money and resources going into Virginia in 2018,” he told Breitbart News.