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Bannon: 'We're putting together a grass-roots army'

Steve Bannon speaking before California Republicans Oct. 20, 2017 (Video screenshot)

WASHINGTON – Steve Bannon, the chief executive officer of the Donald Trump presidential campaign, told California Republicans the future of the nation is in their hands by putting together a grass-roots political army based on “big bold ideas” like stopping illegal immigration.

“And we’re putting together a grass-roots army,” he said Friday. “A grass-roots army that is going to go door to door. That shows that we don’t need to raise hundreds and millions of dollars. The future of the state is in your hands and I mean that.”

The opposition, Bannon said, “has overplayed their hand. And they’ve given the Republicans and the conservatives the one weapon they need to destroy them.”

Watch video of Steve Bannon’s speech to California Republicans on Oct. 20, 2017:

Bannon said the coalition necessary for future victories includes “populists and nationalists and evangelical Christians and conservatives and establishment Republicans. We had to put our differences aside in order to win.”

“If you have the wisdom, the strength, the tenacity to hold that coalition together, we will govern for 50 to 75 years,” Bannon said. “And it’s not going to be easy.”

He said the key is not the politicians, it’s the organization that needs to be built.

“And let me say something about President Trump: I’ve had the great honor of being the CEO of the campaign and then being his chief strategist and senior counsel in the White House,” said Bannon. “And now, I’m proud to say, his wingman outside.”

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Bannon said Republicans need to re-create the kind of political movement that was put together by Barack Obama and David Axelrod.

“That’s exactly what we are trying to do,” he said.

Bannon ripped what he called the “permanent political class,” explaining that “seven of the nine richest counties in the United States of America surround Washington, D.C. For the first time since the invention of the Silicon ship, Washington, D.C., those seven counties have a higher per-cap income than Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley, which by the way has led the greatest revolution in technology in man’s history, and had more great inventions. Now what does Washington, D.C., have? What they’ve got is basically a private equity fund of every year, what $4 trillion that they divvy up. The consulting class, the lobbyists, the K-street crowd, the donor class and the politicians the own, they have taken this country in a very, very dangerous –– very, very dangerous –– direction.”

“There is absolutely nothing we can’t do. If we do one thing, if we move with urgency,” he said. “Now the resistance that comes up against that, is not the people that are outside protesting tonight. When those people finally understand what economic nationalism is about and it’s not about your race, your color, your gender, your religion, your ethnicity, your sexual preference. It’s about one thing: Are you a citizen of the United States of America? Because if you are a citizen, there are certain responsibilities and obligations that come with that. But as a citizen also you should have preference for jobs and economic opportunities. Economic nationalism is not what’s going to drive us apart, it’s what’s going to bind us together.”

Bannon warned that it’s not just about the economy.

“We are not an economy,” he said. “We are a country. We have a social fabric and a civic responsibility. By the way, I’m a free-market capitalist, as most of you are, right? That’s the underpinnings of our society. But we are a civic society, it’s more than an economy. An economic nationalism, looking out for our fellow men to make sure that manufacturing jobs that we allowed go to Asia come back to the United States of America.”

Bannon has nothing but praise for Trump.

“Donald Trump is the only person that could have beaten Hillary Clinton,” he said. “He is an imperfect individual as we are all imperfect. But he was an instrument. You could say he was an instrument of God’s will or not, but I will tell you it took the hand of divine providence to win on November 9 of 2016.”

He called Trump “an existential threat to the system.” Bannon even had a good word for CNN.

“During the last hurricane, I think it was on CNN and this was not fake news,” he said. “Somebody did a study, and I think I’m quoting correctly, that half of the households in this country, in our beloved country, don’t have $400 in cash to meet an emergency. Four hundred dollars in cash. What would the people that fought in the American Revolution think about that? What would the people who died in Guadalcanal think about that? That we have a country that has created $5 trillion of wealth on the combined stock exchanges in equity value, right? But the people that have a high-school diploma have not had a raise since 1970, and that half of the families in this country can’t find $400 in cash.”

He continued: “If we do not take care of this problem –– and I’m not about redistribution of wealth –– but what I am about and what we have to be about is that people do not have to compete unfairly against foreign labor, whether that foreign labor is in China or whether that is illegal alien labor that comes into the United States of America.”