In a speech on Friday to the California GOP state convention, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said former President George W. Bush carried out the most “destructive presidency” in U.S. history.
Bannon hit out at Bush the day after Bush gave a speech in New York in which he rebuked Trump without mentioning him by name, warning that “bigotry seems emboldened” at this point in U.S. history, as “white supremacy” has gained a platform and “globalization” is at risk.
Bannon renewed his attacks on the GOP Establishment when he took to the stage Friday a week after he declared it is time for a "season of war against a GOP Establishment" at the Values Voter Summit.
"President Bush embarrassed himself," Bannon said of the former president's speech. "It is clear he didn't understand anything he was talking about ... he had no idea whether he was coming or going — just like when he was president of the United States."
"There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush's," Bannon continued, adding that the former president was "a piece of work."
Bush had also lamented that the U.S. was not "immune" from the threats of "resurgent ethno-nationalism" and "anger about immigration" as he bashed the wave of conservative-populism that propelled Trump to the presidency on November 8.
But Bannon urged the coalition that elected Trump to stick together amid threats from the GOP Establishment, the mainstream media, anti-Trump Republicans, and resisting liberals. The former White House chief strategist said that the president is fielding all this backlash because he "knows all the games" and "all the scams that go down in Washington, D.C.," and serves as "an existential threat to the system" Bush and other Establishment Republicans love so dearly.
Noting that "we've got a tough slog ahead of us," Bannon warned populists, "if you don't put your shoulder to the wheel, it's not going to happen."
"If you have the wisdom, the strength, the tenacity, to hold that coalition together, we will govern for 50 to 75 years," Bannon said. "It's about one thing — are you a citizen of the United States of America? ... As a citizen also, you should have preference for jobs and economic opportunities."
The former White House chief strategist also urged Californians to focus on building and maintaining populist conservative coalitions that can win some significant ground in the deep-blue state during the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 elections.
"It looks like now, it's impossible to do anything in California," Bannon said. "The media's against you, the culture's against you ... [but] you have got everything you need to win."
"It's only about winning," he continued. "Nothing else matters."
But Bannon warned that the GOP Establishment and the "permanent political class" pose significant threats to the surge of populist conservatism, and he renewed his calls for an "open revolt" against them.
"Everything you need, you have ... you've got big ideas, you have the grass roots, you've got muscle," Bannon said. "You have great candidates. You've got big bold ideas — actionable ideas. And you can put together a grass-roots army."
Last Modified: October 21, 2017, 11:17 pm