Speaking to The Guardian, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon urged the Republicans to take a chance and fight back against the “perfect casting” of the Democrats who entered Congress last year by following their suit and looking for similar candidates among their own party's ranks.
“We’ve turned the Republican Party into a working-class party”, said Bannon, while sitting at a table in his Capitol Hill townhouse, with an autographed photo of Trump hanging right behind him.
“Now, interestingly, we don’t have any elected representatives who believe that, but that’s a legacy issue. We’ll get over that. We’ve got to find our AOCs”, he said, referring to Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 30-year-old former bartender who granted her presidential endorsement to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Commenting on the Democrats’ casting, Bannon explained his viewpoint, cheekily remarking at which strategy he would personally pursue:
“They did an amazing job in 18. I keep saying I admire AOC. I think her ideology’s all f*cked up, but I want her. I want to recruit bartenders. I don’t want to recruit any more lawyers. I want bartenders”.
Among Democrats, the former Trump campaign manager singled out military veterans such as Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Max Rose of New York, both elected as the party gritted out a House majority in the course of the 2018 midterms.
“That’s perfect casting. That’s why we got smoked”, he rounded off, lamenting last year’s midterm results.
To further illustrate his viewpoint, Bannon, who co-hosts a radio programme about Trump’s impeachment proceedings called War Room, brought up former mayor and now presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, who spent $110 million through his own political action committee and supported 21 of the 24 candidates, leading them to win their long-striven-for seats.
Addressing the ongoing impeachment inquiry, Bannon stressed:
“Trump wouldn’t be impeached if it were not for Bloomberg. It’s Bloomberg’s hundred million dollars that won the seats … The Democrat Party is just like Republicans: a pass through”, the former Goldman Sachs investor elaborated, adding all the actual work is done exclusively by activist groups:
“There’s no actual people to do anything. They’re not out in any state ringing doorbells. Those activist groups are. That’s where Bloomberg put his hundred million dollars”.
In an earlier phone interview, Bannon likened the UK general election, in which Tory Boris Johnson beat Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, to Trump’s win in 2016: he said that while Johnson nearly wrecked a “red wall” in traditional working-class families, Trump attacked the “blue wall” in typically Democratic Midwestern states.
The former White House official earlier came up with his vision of Dem primary outcomes, stating that none of the candidates can win the vote and declared that Clinton is “waiting in the wings” to enter the presidential race.