Stephen Bannon

Bannon May Find Donors Hard to Get

“Steve Bannon has vowed to lead a ‘season of war’ on Washington’s Republican establishment. But donors most likely to fund a disruptive campaign may be hard to win over,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Bannon is planning to support primary challengers to GOP senators with a goal of toppling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell… Turning that into reality likely would require tens of millions of dollars to rally voters and build the name recognition of various candidates facing well-financed, sitting senators. Indeed, outside groups spent nearly $3 million in 2012 helping Richard Mourdock defeat Republican Sen. Dick Lugar in Indiana. Mr. Mourdock went on to lose the general election.”

“In recent weeks, however, two of the biggest GOP donors who have funded disruptive campaigns in the past have distanced themselves from Mr. Bannon. And the turbulent Senate race in Alabama, where Mr. Bannon backs Republican candidate Roy Moore, who is facing sexual assault allegations, has energized Mr. McConnell’s defenders.”

Bannon Has Urged Cuban to Run for President

Mark Cuban has discussed the possibility of running for president in 2020 with Steve Bannon over the past few months, the Daily Beast reports.

Axios: “Bannon wants to break down the entrenched political system, so he might view Cuban — with his mix of social liberalism and Ayn Rand devotion — as someone he could work with on the left. And while it might seem odd that Bannon would seemingly work against Trump, don’t forget that he told Vanity Fair last month that he only gives his boss a 30% chance of lasting a full term.”

The Overrated Steve Bannon

Matt Lewis: “The moral of the story for Republicans is that Trumpism is toxic in diverse areas full of educated suburbanites. As these regions continue to grow (and as the areas where Trump performs well continue to shrink), Republicans will face the demographic crisis we’ve been warning about for years.”

“This was always going to be a challenge for Republicans, but Trump and Bannon have exacerbated the problem. Roy Moore can win in deep-red Alabama; he can’t win in purple Virginia.”

McConnell Allies Declare War on Steve Bannon

“Allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared open warfare on Wednesday against Stephen Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and leader of an insurrection aimed at defeating mainstream GOP candidates in next year’s midterm elections,” the Washington Post reports.

“More than a year ahead of the 2018 congressional contests, a super PAC aligned with McConnell (R-KY) revealed plans to attack Bannon personally as it works to protect incumbents facing uphill primary fights. The effort reflects the growing concern of Republican lawmakers over the rise of anti-establishment forces and comes amid escalating frustration over President Trump’s conduct, which has prompted a handful of lawmakers to publicly criticize the president.”

Trump Offers Support for Targeted GOP Senators

President Trump “called three Republican senators this week and expressed support for their 2018 re-election bids, aligning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the senator’s intra-party feud with Steve Bannon,” Politico reports.

“Trump dialed GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Roger Wicker of Mississippi … He promised to help the three senators against any insurgent challengers … and said he hoped they would be reelected. The calls are expected to eventually be followed by formal endorsements.”

How Roy Moore Fits Into Bannon’s War on the GOP

Time: “Moore is not only a culture warrior. He is a populist Christian and a soldier in the larger Republican revolution that is rooted in frustration with Washington and prizes anti-establishment anger over all else. The same uprising that carried President Donald Trump into the White House looks poised to deliver an even more disruptive figure, one the party cannot control…. And the revolution is about to spread well beyond Dixie. Its field general, former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon, says he is recruiting a slate of insurgent outsiders who will vow to topple the Republican ruling class.”

“Bannon’s strategy is to knit together a disparate coalition, from evangelical populists to small-government libertarians, to take on the proverbial swamp. Already Bannon is jetting around the U.S., meeting with major Republican donors in a bid to convince them to defect from McConnell’s team…. If Moore loses in December, it would shave the party’s cushion in the upper chamber to a single vote—which means there is an outside chance that Moore’s rise and Bannon’s crusade could cost the party control of the Senate, giving Democrats the numbers, and the subpoena power, to thwart every aspect of Trump’s agenda. And in the much more likely event that Moore wins, the Senate is about to become harder to govern—if that’s possible.”

Bannon’s Motley Crew of Challengers

Wall Street Journal: “Steve Bannon, the failed presidential adviser and alt-right sympathizer, has declared war on incumbent Republicans, particularly Sen. Mitch McConnell. From his perch at Breitbart, Mr. Bannon is vowing to defeat officeholders who back Mr. McConnell as majority leader or who won’t sign onto Mr. Bannon’s populist agenda. So what kind of challengers is Mr. Bannon marshaling for the midterms?”

“One is fresh out of prison. Another held a town hall to discuss ‘chemtrail’ theories… In open seats or races with Democratic incumbents, Mr. Bannon is backing consensus mainstream candidates.”

McConnell Warns Trump About Bannon Threat

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told President Trump that Steve Bannon’s midterm insurgency was detrimental to tax reform and other key elements of the administration’s agenda, the Washington Examiner reports.

“McConnell emphasized that Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, was undermining the president’s agenda with plans to recruit and finance primary challenges against Republicans who are some of his most reliable supporters in the Senate.”

What Will Bannon’s ‘War’ Actually Look Like?

BuzzFeed: “Steve Bannon has sucked up gobs of political oxygen with his budding operation to take down establishment Republicans in next year’s elections. But his political army, and the secretive financiers backing it, so far are just loosely organized upstarts in an ecosystem dominated by well-established groups.”

“As the GOP appears to be on the verge of another civil war and reports of Bannon’s 2018 plans dominate headlines, the big question Republicans are still trying to figure out is: Beyond a photo op, what does Bannon’s support actually mean for Michael Grimm and several other candidates he is backing?”

Asked that question directly, a close Bannon ally responded: “It’s actually still TBD.”

Bannon Pledges War on McConnell

Stephen Bannon taunted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and vowed to challenge any Senate Republican who doesn’t publicly condemn attacks on President Trump, Politico reports.

Said Bannon: “Yeah, Mitch, the donors are not happy. They’ve all left you. We’ve cut your oxygen off… Nobody can run and hide on this one. These folks are coming for you.”

“Referencing Shakespeare, Bannon compared McConnell to Julius Caesar, adding that lawmakers are wondering who will emerge as Brutus, the character who reluctantly joins in on the assassination of Caesar for the benefit of Rome.”

“Bannon also predicted Trump would win in a landslide in 2020, securing 400 electoral votes.”