Steve Bannon: ‘I Don’t Agree with Matt Drudge,’ Sen. Warren Is Just ‘Trump Lite’

‘You’re going to have populist nationalism versus populist socialism’

Matt Drudge, publisher of the most popular news aggregation site on the Internet, says the Democratic primary is now Elizabeth Warren’s to lose. 

Following the Massachusetts senator’s highly publicized rally at New York City’s Washington Square Park this week, Drudge tweeted:

Tweet #1174467626698854400

Recent polls are bearing out Drudge’s forecast. Fox News’ latest poll shows the front-runner, Joe Biden, slipping from his high of 35 percent to 29 percent. Warren, meanwhile, registered at 16 percent.

Warren’s RealClearPolitics average of national polling data shows her climbing from a starting point of 6.6 percent to 18.3 percent, second only to Biden. 

The brown line charts Warren’s rise

President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, said he disagrees with Drudge. Appearing Thursday morning on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Bannon said: “I don’t agree with Matt Drudge yet but I think if you look at — and Matt’s got a tremendous sense of news, but if you look at her speech down here at Washington Square Park, which is quite dramatic, it’s really Trump Lite.” 

Bannon said she’s tapping into the same popular resentment toward big government corruption that fueled Trump’s rise. If she does capture the nomination, Bannon said, the race will present contrasting forms of nationalism. 

“If that’s the case, you’re going to have populist nationalism versus populist socialism,” he said. “She’s clearly defined where the energy is.”


Here’s a transcript of the exchange: 

QUICK: “But do you understand the president pushing off the additional tariff hikes to the 15th so as to offer I guess some good will in the negotiation, so it’s not on the anniversary —“ [crosstalk]

BANNON: “Yes. Becky, I think, look, he has gone out of his way to be accommodating and trying to do something — look, he’s trying to do something that actually works for the Chinese, that deal of Lighthizer’s and Peter Navarro’s was systematically thought of to integrate them into the world economy and to really free the Chinese people who have essentially been slaves in the manufacturing process. I think it’s foresight and I think just Trump has been the rock. And I think all this happy talk is going to be a two-step deal, they’re going to buy a few more soybeans, Trump, I think, has been adamant that, hey, there is a deal on the table, we want to go back and start looking at that deal — and one thing I think that China is going to do is what the Shanghai communique — one of the tricks I think they’re going to pull is to try to get some deal that’s so general, go back to the original deal but get in language so general it could be interpreted by both sides. I don’t think Trump — I don’t think Trump takes the bait on that either. Remember the CCP, they are experts in barbarian management, right? They know how to incentivize elites and tributary countries. I know —“

KERNEN: “Hold on, I got — I’m sorry, I’ve just got to get — is Warren the prospective nominee at this point or is it still Biden, in your view?”

BANNON: “I don’t agree with Matt Drudge yet but I think if you look at — and Matt’s got a tremendous sense of news, but if you look at her speech down here at Washington Square Park, which is quite dramatic, it’s really Trump light. Now we’re seeing — if that’s the case, you’re going to have populist nationalism versus populist socialism. She is taking many — her speak is really Trump light to the fact taking Peter Schweitzer, my partner, government accountability and talk about the stock act and trading, and thing like that, so I think she’s clearly defined where the energy is. I think Biden because of China, and I think this is why Trump has shifted this discussion and China is going to be the framing device for the 2020 election, the geopolitical concerns of the nation.”

ROSS SORKIN: “That was my question, though. Do you believe that the Trump base looks at China the way you look at China, which is to say if you’re a farmer, soybean farmer or anybody else in the middle of the country? I think there’s a lot of people — I imagine, maybe I’m wrong I think you’re probably going to disagree with this assessment. I would imagine that they — they can think about it theoretically, but beyond that they’re looking at their own — their own wallet and saying, I don’t know.”
BANNON: “I think it’s the exact opposite. I think when he saw America in decline, this is how we pierce the blue wall. If you go to Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin, you don’t have to come to New York I have to actually walk people through why — you know, Schwartz man now has religion on CNBC. He says oh, yeah, they’ve had 20 years they’ve been doing this, right? So Wall Street is starting to get religion like Trump. On the campaign, if you go up there people know the factories and the jobs all went to China and the Fentanyl and opioids came in, and this despair of not having jobs. So you can speak in shorthand, in Michigan, in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Iowa, the upper Midwest, this is why Donald Trump’s president. Remember, immigration was an issue but if we would go to the upper Midwest, it wasn’t so much we build the wall, is where are the jobs, bring the Jobs back. And this’s what’s this is about. This is about shifting the supply chain back to the United States. It’s why USMCA — nobody is talking about it, that’s the first — remember what Trump’s done just this weekend, he’s got the Mexican/Canada deal, USMSA which makes us a geo strategic manufacturing base, North America with Mexico. You’ve got the India deal he’s talking about, and Japan the pieces on the chess board are coming together, and this is the industrial democracies now working together —“ [crosstalk]

QUICK: “He’s doing what the critics have been saying all along he should have done, even the ones who would agree he should be tough on China, get the rest of the globe together to be on your side.”

BANNON: “This is why they say get the allies together. Look at Trump even on Iran. What he is saying I think where he’s going on Iran is a full economic boycott, an economic — beyond economic sanctions. I think you’re going to start to hermetically seal off Iran from capital markets, I think it’s going to be part of the Chinese discussion, I think China is going to be a quarantine. Everybody wants to be John Wayne, right? President Trump is strong enough that he doesn’t have to be John Wayne. He looks at this as a businessman, he knows the sanctions are the first step. He can go further. You can start to hermetically seal off Iran, form food, from loans, from everything. And I think it’s going to be part of the Chinese discussion. China has got a $400 billion deal with them on oil, I think they have between 10 and $50 billion credit line. This is you will going to be put on the table as he starts to ratchet up the pressure.”


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