ANAHEIM, Calif.—Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon continued his campaign against the Republican establishment in a speech to the California Republican Party convention on Friday—while also calling for greater unity within the party. His targets included the current party leadership, but also the previous Republican president of the United States.
Bannon, who rarely spoke publicly during his time as White House chief strategist, has made a series of appearances in recent weeks promoting primary Republican senators in the 2018 election cycle. Boosted by former judge Roy Moore’s Alabama Senate primary win over the establishment’s (and President Trump’s) pick Luther Strange, Bannon is spearheading an intra-party war with the aim of removing Mitch McConnell as majority leader. He has said that he wants to challenge every Republican incumbent apart from Ted Cruz. He personally campaigned for Moore and for Kelli Ward, who is running a primary challenge to Jeff Flake in Arizona. Last week he promised a “season of war” against the establishment in a speech to the Values Voter Summit in Washington.
“Victory begets victory,” Bannon told the crowd at the Anaheim Marriott in a wide-ranging speech that touched on everything from Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance (Bannon’s a fan) to the “Fourth Turning” to Andrew Sullivan’s latest piece (Bannon’s also a fan). And after existing on the political fringes for most of his career, Bannon has finally notched some victories: His speech on Friday lingered on Trump’s election and on Moore’s win. “I was on the opposite side of the football with the president,” Bannon noted. “I think the president got some bad information.”