Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said on Saturday at the Value Voter Summit that “it’s a season of war against a GOP Establishment” that won’t fully support President Donald Trump and his “America First” agenda that the people voted for in 2016.
Bannon, who left the White House in mid-August before returning to Breitbart, took particular aim at outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) for demeaning Trump. Pointing to Corker and other members of the GOP Establishment, Bannon warned that the American people “are coming for you.”
"To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to rend and a time to sow. A time to be silent and a time to speak out. A time of war and a time of peace," Bannon said, echoing a famous Biblical passage from the book of Ecclesiastes. "But there's a time and season for everything, and right now it's a season of war against a GOP Establishment."
"This is not my war. This is our war," Bannon told the crowd. "And you all didn't start it. The Establishment started it. But I will tell you one thing — you all are going to finish it."
Corker, who has chosen not to run for re-election in 2018, won liberals' praise when he took on Trump after the president criticized him via Twitter. In response, Corker said the White House was like an "adult day care center" and told The New York Times that Trump was leading the country "on the path to World War III."
"What Corker said, he gave up the game. He said, 'Hey, there's only one or two senators up here that have any respect or admiration for President Trump. The rest of them all talk like I do behind closed doors,'" Bannon said.
Trump's former chief strategist posited the idea that Corker chose not to run again because he feared being primaried, especially in the wake of populist former Judge Roy Moore's Republican primary victory against GOP Establishment member Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in late September.
"And [Corker] knew the good men and women in Alabama were holding [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell accountable down there, and they were going to hold Bob Corker accountable, too," Bannon said. "These folks are coming for you. The day of taking a few nice, conservative votes and hiding is over."
"It's no longer acceptable to come and pat you on the head and tell you 'Everything is going to be fine — just get these guys in office.' Those days are over," Bannon added. "We need to move with urgency. The president of the United States deserves respect and deserves their support."
There's still time for vulnerable senators who fear being defeated in primaries to have a "mea culpa" moment, Bannon said.
"You can come to a stick and condemn Senator Corker, and you can come to a stick, a microphone, and say, 'I am not going to vote for Mitch McConnell for majority leader,'" Bannon said. "And you can come to a stick and you can say I'm going to do away with the filibuster so the president can implement his program."
Noting that "the president needs our support more than ever," Bannon pleaded with the American people to drive and support the conservative-populist agenda Trump campaigned on so successfully while holding their elected officials accountable.
"We're in the valley of decision. This is the fourth great turning in American history. We've had the revolution, we've had the Civil War, we've had the Great Depression and World War II. This is the fourth," Bannon said.
Although it may take 10-20 years "to go through this" and come out victorious on the other side, the former White House chief strategist said there is always hope.
"We're either going to be the country that was bequeathed to previous generations and to you, or we're going to be something else," Bannon said. "And in that valley of decision, it's not about [House Freedom Caucus Chairman] Mark Meadows and Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee, and all the great leaders of the conservative movement, Vice President Pence, Laura Ingraham, Steve Bannon, Seb Gorka. The burden's on you. The burden's on your shoulders."
Last Modified: October 14, 2017, 9:18 pm