Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh made a bold statement on his program about Steve Bannon and the current state of the Republican Party.
Limbaugh believes Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, is taking over the roles and responsibilities meant for GOP leadership by enforcing conservatism onto Republican candidates up for re-election.
“I think what Bannon is doing is slowly but surely taking over the role of the Republican Party,” Limbaugh said Wednesday. “The Republican Party is obviously not with Trump on balance — you have some in the House who are — but the Republican Party on balance is not with Trump.”
Steve Bannon played a major role in then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential victory upset last year and led the formulation of White House policy in the months that followed. He was Trump’s campaign chairman during the 2016 election and later served as a White House chief strategist — leading the nationalist wing of the administration.
After abruptly leaving the administration in mid-August, Bannon returned to his prior position as executive chairman of Breitbart News.
Since leaving the White House, he made it clear he would use his position as a media executive to support insurgent conservative candidates running primaries against establishment GOP lawmakers.
Bannon already appears good for his word.
In the special election in Alabama to fill the Senate seat once held by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Bannon went against the Trump administration with his endorsement of Roy Moore.
Bannon supported the successful candidacy of Moore, a controversial former judge, in a move that was at odds with Trump, who campaigned vehemently for Moore’s opponent, Sen. Luther Strange.
By election day, it wasn’t even close. Moore bested Strange in the GOP primary by almost double digits. Moore now heads into the Alabama general election, where he will likely win in a state that leans red.
The primary results demonstrated the power of Bannon’s support.
The leader of Breitbart is not stopping with the Alabama special election. Bannon has recently announced he is expanding his GOP targets, adding Republican Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, John Barrasso of Wyoming and Orrin Hatch of Utah to his hit list.
In Wyoming, Bannon is pushing Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and founder of major security contractor Blackwater, to challenge Barrasso, CNN reported.
In Utah, Hatch may very well retire on his own. If he does, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is reportedly eyeing a run in the Mormon-majority state. If that happens, Bannon is ready to run a candidate against him.
According to a source close to Bannon, this is just a “partial” list of elections he is looking to influence.
Bannon is already working to knock off Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and his beleaguered campaign for re-election. Nevada Sen. Dean Heller and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker are also on Bannon’s radar.
“Some people make an argument that there really isn’t a Republican Party left. I mean, there are people who call themselves that and they go out and raise money and they raise a lot. But whereas the party used to be known for one, two, or three very serious things, they’re not anymore,” Limbaugh added on his radio show.
The conservative talk radio host believes Bannon and others are trying to keep the identity of the Republican Party alive by enforcing such standards onto them by way of primary challenges.
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