Bannon visits The Citadel, explains how Trump won

Bannon visits The Citadel, explains how Trump won
November 11 10:42 2017 Print This Article

Steve Bannon, former campaign Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and advisor to President Donald Trump, told the 350 people assembled at The Citadel Republican Society’s annual Patriot Diner how the 2016 election was won. You can view ABC News 4’s 47-minute video of the entire speech here:

Bannon, a former Navy officer, investment banker, film producer and current CEO for Breitbart News, pointed to Macomb County, Michigan, as a symbol for the Trump victory strategy.  Macomb, located near Detroit, is part of what is termed the Rust Belt, where factories have been shuttered and shipped off to China and elsewhere in recent decades.  The Trump campaign focused on the voters who have been left behind by the globalist economy and the strategy led to wins in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, resulting in a 306-232 electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton.  Bannon said, “Donald J. Trump connected with the working class people better than any other candidate could have.”

Operating in his first political campaign ever, Bannon took over the strategy function 85 days before election day.  Citing pollster and Charleston native Pat Caddell, who was in attendance, the most significant polling showed that 66% of voters felt that America was on the wrong track and 75% thought that America was in decline.  Trump’s message focused on bringing back America’s manufacturing jobs, stopping illegal immigrants and drugs from entering the country and re-negotiating or terminating international treaties like the Paris Climate Accord and the Trans Pacific Partnership which put American workers at a disadvantage.  Down by double digits in most “battleground” states with less than a month left in the campaign, Trump pulled off what Bannon calls “the greatest come-from-behind victory in American history.”

The Trump campaign was hit with what seemed to be a devastating “October Surprise” with the release of off-camera video from the “Access Hollywood” television show, in which Trump told host Billy Bush that women will do almost anything to be in the company of celebrities.  At the time, Trump was the producer and star of the hit reality show “The Apprentice.”  Bannon turned the tables on the controversy by inviting three women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault and a fourth woman who was a rape victim who was poorly represented by then-lawyer Hillary Clinton, to be the campaign’s VIP guests before the October 9 Presidential Debate in St. Louis.  Bannon said, “We were able to pit Trump’s ‘locker room talk’ versus Bill and Hillary Clinton’s actions.”  After the debate, the Trump campaign gathered momentum in all of the battleground states, boosted by rallies with crowds often topping 10,000 enthusiastic supporters.

In addition to bad treaties and trade deals, the Trump campaign focused on how America has been footing the bill to keep the rest of the world safe.  Bannon cited that since 2001, America has spent $5.6 Trillion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, resulting in 7000 deaths and 52,000 serious injuries among American service personnel. Earlier in the program, The Citadel Republican Society paid tribute to the former cadets who have died in military service.  Trump questioned whether America’s military actions were in the country’s national interests and why our allies don’t have a greater responsibility for global security.  At the same time, he pledged to crush ISIS, which has lost most of its territory since Trump took office on January 20.

Bannon gleefully went after the media and the Republican Party establishment.  Frequently pointing to network news cameras at the event, Bannon joked, “They probably have (scrawls) saying, ‘White nationalist/supremacist talks to a bunch of hot-heads in South Carolina.'”  The media often makes those characterizations of Bannon without ever producing documentation to support them.  He also chided Republican leaders in Congress and their donors, who represent what Trump has called “The Swamp.”  Bannon cited the failure of the Republican-controlled Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare and its current struggle to reach a consensus on tax reform as a failure to govern.  He said, “They’re not going to give us our country back – we’re going to have to take it back!”  Bannon is working behind the scenes to defeat Senate Republicans who don’t support Trump’s America First agenda in 2018 Republican primaries.  The effort has already led  several Republicans to announce that they will not seek re-election.  He has also called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to step down.

Citing a recent three-hour speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Bannon warned that the ascendancy of China as the world’s leading manufacturer could be a turning point in American history.  After the American Revolution, turning points such as the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II, followed by the Cold War, have brought on big changes.  Bannon said that China has gutted America’s Industrial Heartland and that we as a country must learn how to compete and win against China and other foreign manufacturers.  He presented a sobering statistic that half of American households don’t have $400 in cash set aside for emergencies and urged the crowd to “stay angry and take your country back.”