Stephen Miller, a senior policy advisor for Donald Trump, spoke with host Stephen K. Bannon on Friday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily about the upcoming Wisconsin primary, where Trump’s rival Senator Ted Cruz is widely seen as surging to a comfortable lead. Miller accused Cruz of misleading voters on some of Trump’s big issues, such as free trade, and said Trump is fighting against a massive effort by the Republican Establishment to shoot down their own front-runner.
Bannon proposed that Trump’s slide in the polls was partly a result of broken campaign focus, as he has drifted away from his core winning issues of “trade, immigration, and Islamic jihad,” leaving many Trump supporters to wonder where the candidate who got them so excited earlier in the race has gone. He suggested these voters found it especially disheartening that a candidate who has set so many high bars for political achievement — the outsider who promises to take Washington by storm, bring 10 million jobs back from China, defeat ISIS, and force Mexico to pay for a fence along the southern U.S. border — could be so easily distracted by peripheral issues, personal squabbles, tough interviews, and negative campaigning from the #NeverTrump movement.
“It’s important to understand that the effort of people trying to stop Trump is not limited to the groups that you said. It’s the entire infrastructure of the Republican elite… which, by definition, is the most powerful group in the country,” Miller argued. “It degrades the movement, and it downplays the movement, and downplays the millions of people who have been part of the movement. To suggest that they’ve only been fighting against a couple of radio-show hosts, and some magazines… The reality is that you’re talking about a group of people who’ve had a grip on the Republican Party for 30 years, whose collective net worth is not billions, but trillions of dollars, who are personally responsible for policies that have ruined millions of lives.”
“Overthrowing that was never going to be easy. It was always going to be difficult. And yet, we’ve done better in pledged delegates than Hillary Clinton,” Miller declared. “We’ve had bigger nights, stronger nights, nights with larger sweeps than Hillary Clinton.”
He insisted Trump remained on the path to getting the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination, maintaining Trump’s delegate lead in the Republican race was more impressive than Clinton’s on the Democrat side, where only the Party-controlled super-delegates make her the frontrunner against socialist Senator Bernie Sanders.
“When we let ourselves believe that we’re up against, you know, just a small group of cranks, we underestimate why people’s lives have been deteriorating for as long as they have been,” Miller said of Trump’s nemeses in the Republican Establishment. “We didn’t lose our manufacturing sector overnight. We didn’t have all these sanctuary cities pop up overnight.”
He described those blights as part of an “infrastructure of betrayal,” created by the political class running Washington, which has “betrayed the working people of this country.” Miller noted that Republican voters have expressed that sense of betrayal by their own party in exit polls throughout the primary season.
He said Trump was “winning in an environment that no Republican challenger has ever faced, and that is a testament to him as a candidate… but it’s also a testament to the voters, who are getting a steady diet of information from people who have an agenda, that is trying to stop Donald Trump, to cling on to power.”
“The political class, the donor class, the Establishment — whatever you want to call it — understands that its situation is inherently unstable,” Miller explained. “Because any time you have a small group of people ruling over a large group of people, and the small group of people is pushing policies and agenda items that opposite ones to the interests and desires of the majority, they know that once the majority figures out they can overthrow the minority ruling class, they’re gonna have trouble.”
“That is why they’re not just throwing some of what they have, they are throwing all of what they have to maintain their grip on power, because they understand they have never faced a threat like this before, and will never face one again,” he said.
Miller included efforts to rig local primaries and the national convention, plus “every single instrument of power — opinion, pundit, financial, otherwise” as weapons in the Establishment’s arsenal, creating a unique situation where “the GOP front-runner is facing an onslaught of unprecedented proportions” from his own party.
He offered the recent budget bill as an example of betrayal: “All of our voters said they wanted to pause the refugee program. All of our lawmakers said publicly they wanted to pause the refugee program. So why is it that it was, effectively, not even in the cards for us to pause the refugee program — where even attempting to pause it couldn’t happen?”
“Because the grip of special interests on the Party is so powerful, that even an item lawmakers say they want… that voters shout and scream that they want… that the American people, Democrat, Republican, and Independent want… doesn’t even make it onto the agenda item,” Miller concluded.
While Bannon suggested that the Trump campaign should feel good about the way it has changed the national conversation on topics such as free trade, obliging his rival Ted Cruz to pick up some of his ideas, Miller countered that such latter-day conversions to the cause of fair trade were not sincere.
“The reality is that free trade is something that Cruz believes in, to the marrow of his bones,” Miller charged. “Every single person who has been ruining this country on trade for decades says the word ‘fair,’ just like [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg says he’s opposed to ‘amnesty,’ just like Barack Obama says he’s opposed to ‘amnesty,’ just like Harry Reid says he’s opposed to ‘amnesty.’ That is the language of the sellout class. Let’s be clear — whenever someone is trying to ram a terrible trade bill down your throat, the first thing they tell you is, it’ll be a ‘fair deal’ for you.”
“The reality is that Cruz is an ideologue on trade. He has said, over and over again, that he opposes anything which raises the price of foreign imports. Well, if that is your position, then you have completely surrendered U.S. sovereignty,” Miller declared. “There is no way to enforce trade fairness if you’re not willing to increase the price of a foreign import. If someone manipulates their currency, the only way to remedy it is to increase the price of the import. If someone puts an unfair subsidy, in violation of the World Trade Organization, the only enforcement mechanism to deal with it is to apply a duty in response. If you’re not willing to affect the price of a foreign import, then you’re a complete trade surrenderist… and that’s Ted Cruz’s philosophy.”
Miller offered to bet his bottom dollar that no one could produce “one example of Ted Cruz anywhere, saying anything, that represents a policy change on his hardcore free trade ideology.” He argued that Cruz remained in favor of Chinese currency manipulation, and still supported Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership deal “in substance, and in content,” while using unrelated issues such as reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank to muddy his record.
Miller recommended listeners review Trump’s positions on trade by consulting his campaign website, to get an idea of what a consequential shift in trade policy would entail.
“Ted Cruz is losing this race, he has no path to the nomination, and he’s engaged in a desperate display of disrespect for voters,” Miller concluded. “If Ted Cruz has changed his position on trade — which he hasn’t, and he’ll never, because it’s his religion — he would say, you know what, we’re gonna crack down on China currency, and NAFTA was a bad idea, and yes, tariffs are on the table. He doesn’t believe any of those things.”
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00AM to 9:00AM EST.
You can listen to the full interview with Stephen Miller below: