Bannon at CPAC: “Every Day, It is Going to Be a Fight”
White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon made a rare public appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, joining Reince Priebus on stage for a half-hour interview with American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp. And for anyone who formed their opinion of Bannon through cable news coverage, the New York Times, or Saturday Night Live, it must have disconcerting to realize he doesn’t actually have horns sprouting from his head or a scythe resting in his right hand.
Even so, Bannon was very clear about his vision for the country and unapologetic about his attacks on the mainstream media.
“If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken,” Bannon said of the media and other establishment power centers. “Every day, it is going to be a fight.”
Bannon and Priebus attempted to cut through the stories of chaos within the administration, including reports that the two of them were locked in a war for President Trump’s ear.
“I think if you look at the opposition party and how they portray the campaign, how they portrayed the transition and how they’re portraying the administration, it’s always wrong,” Bannon said, again referring to the media.
Priebus echoed that sentiment when asked to pinpoint the biggest misconception about the Trump White House. “Everything that you’re reading,” he said bluntly.
Both men made it a point to defuse one of the lingering media narratives – that Bannon, Priebus, and other forces around the president are the ones actually calling the shots. Even while sitting in the spotlight, they continually drew the focus back to Donald Trump.
“The truth of the matter is he brought together the party and the conservative movement,” said Priebus. “And I’ve got to tell you, if the party and the conservative movement are together, it can’t be stopped.”
Bannon, in turn, said that Trump was doing nothing more or less than fulfilling his promises.
“That is what I’m proudest about Donald Trump,” Bannon said. “All the opportunities he had to waver off this – all the people who have come to him and said, ‘Oh, you’ve got to moderate’ – every day in the Oval Office, he tells Reince and I, ‘I’ve committed this to the American people, I promised this when I ran, and I’m going to deliver on this.'”
The former head honcho of Breitbart undoubtedly has his reasons for avoiding the limelight – his disgust of the media being chief among them – but Bannon could be a great spokesman for this administration if he wanted to be. Then again, he knows better than anyone how today’s “journalists” can twist your words, take you out of context, and make you look like a fool using every deceptive trick in the book. Perhaps he realizes that trying to win over the media through the media is a losing game. He truly believes they are “the opposition party.”
And in fairness, can anyone who watched them cover Trump’s campaign believe otherwise?