7 Steve Bannon Quotes About The Republican Party That Suggest He's Not Its Biggest Fan
News of President-elect Donald Trump's choice for chief White House strategist, Steve Bannon, have politicians and citizens alike worried for the country's future. Civil rights organizations, media outlets, and politicians have all spoken out against Bannon, fearing what his leadership could mean for the future of the U.S. The Republican Party, on the other hand, has been much slower to condemn him.
Bannon, who served as the Trump campaign's CEO, is a noted white nationalist and misogynist who formerly served as the executive chairman of far-right website Breitbart News. Under his leadership, Breitbart published countless Islamophobic, racist and sexist articles, and it seems he had a similar effect on the Trump campaign. The GOP seems to be keeping mum on him in order to prepare for what seems to be an inevitable partnership over the next four years. But looking back on Bannon's career, he has never been one to stay quiet on his criticisms of the Republican Party and its leaders. He has frequently spoken out against the GOP over the years, as well as Paul Ryan and John Boehner, among others, both privately and publicly at appearances, on Breitbart, and on Breitbart News Daily, his Sirius XM radio show.
Here are seven quotes that show just how Bannon really feels about the GOP:
1. What The Tea Party Members Need To Do
In 2010, Bannon was a guest on conservative talk show Political Vindication Radio, where he told the hosts, speaking in reference to Tea Party members: "What we need to do is bitch-slap the Republican Party and get those guys, you know, heeding, too. And if we have to, we'll take it over."
2. How Republicans Are Failing American Conservatives
Bannon told a group of conservatives told a group of conservatives in 2013:
We don't believe there is a functional conservative party in this country and we certainly don't think the Republican Party is that. It's going to be an insurgent, center-right populist movement that is virulently anti-establishment, and it's going to continue to hammer this city, both the progressive left and the institutional Republican Party.
3. On Republican Leadership
Bannon wrote in a 2014 email to Breitbart reporter Matt Boyle, "Leadership are all cunts. We should just go buck wild. ... Let the grassroots turn on the hate because that's the ONLY thing that will make them do their duty." These emails were obtained by The Daily Beast, which reported on the exchange back in August.
4. On Breitbart's Popularity
From a 2014 interview with BuzzFeed News:
The tea party in the United States' biggest fight is with the the Republican establishment, which is really a collection of crony capitalists that feel that they have a different set of rules of how they're going to comport themselves and how they're going to run things. And, quite frankly, it's the reason that the United States' financial situation is so dire, particularly our balance sheet. We have virtually a hundred trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities. That is all because you've had this kind of crony capitalism in Washington, DC. The rise of Breitbart is directly tied to being the voice of that center-right opposition. And, quite frankly, we're winning many, many victories.
5. On The Republican Party Establishment
From a January 2016 Washington Post article about the rise of Breitbart: "We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly 'anti-' the permanent political class. We say Paul Ryan was grown in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation."
6. On Paul Ryan As Speaker Of The House
The first line of an article titled "Paul Ryan Betrays America" written by Bannon and Julia Hahn for Breitbart: "Paul Ryan's first major legislative achievement is a total and complete sell-out of the American people masquerading as an appropriations bill." Bannon and Hahn slam Ryan for his Omnibus Spending Bill's funding Sanctuary Cities and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, among other things.
7. On Paul Ryan As Speaker Of The House (Part 2)
In reference to senior conservative aides' claims that Ryan's team was much more transparent with them than Boehner's, from a Breitbart article Bannon wrote with Matthew Boyle in which they criticize Ryan's 2016 New Years Resolutions as Speaker of the House.
"It's really not that hard to be better than nothing — what Boehner was, who was so bad he'd literally call his own Republican members swear words while not even trying to work with conservatives—so it's not a huge improvement on Ryan's part."
Bannon's contempt for the GOP could not be any clearer, but there's no telling what it will take for them to denounce him once and for all. We already knew that Trump's election would cause contention in Republican ranks. Bannon's past remarks prove that he will only turn that contention up one, or several, notches.