Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon thinks the field is not promising for Democrats planning to take on President Trump in 2020.
Trump’s former White House counselor told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday that he doesn’t see anyone who can “hit a fastball” like Trump can throw and that he does not see any challengers right now who could take him on.
“I don’t really see a real challenge right now and quite frankly I’m surprised, I thought there might be challenges. I thought the launches have been particularly weak,” Bannon said Wednesday, speaking from Rome on “Anderson Cooper 360.”
“The one thing I think is different in this primary season than any other in American history is that the — the sitting president, Donald Trump, is going to have a vote in the Democratic primary. That is a reality,” Bannon said, noting how Trump’s style is the key.
“And this is because of the — of President Trump’s house style,” he went on. “He’s going to be engaged and I think a perfect example is — is Elizabeth Warren.”
Bannon pointed out the “well-defined policy initiatives” of the Massachusetts Democratic senator, including getting more “participation and ownership in society.”
“On the populous side, you have right-wing populism and left-wing and some of the stuff is very smart. And she’s lifting from our playbook, but what is most amazing to me is she’s now 8 percent and even Trump said maybe I moved too quickly. She would have been a weak candidate,” Bannon said, adding that Trump’s “direct involvement” has negatively affected Warren’s campaign.
“So I think all of the candidates — one of the things that surprised me the most is how much the — the AOC kind of new green deal and this movement to the far left economically has pulled the candidates farther left,” he said, referring to democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Bannon did not think much of the frenzy around former Vice President Joe Biden who has yet to announce if he is running. Bannon believes Biden’s highest peak will be reached the day he announces a campaign.
“I don’t see anybody in this field right now taking on Donald Trump. You know, Donald Trump is going to be very tough in this campaign. He’s going to go right at you,” he added.
He also noted that Hillary Clinton will be “in the bullpen, waiting.”
“She’s not running but she’s in the bullpen waiting for the call,” he said, explaining that the failed 2016 candidate could step in “if you go through this gauntlet this summer and start the Democratic primary and by the fall of next year if there is not a candidate that is kind of breaking out of the pack and looks like they could take on Trump.”
“The number one thing for the Democrats is not policy right now. The number one thing for Democrats is beating Donald Trump. And they’re going to fall in line with whoever they think can beat Donald Trump,” Bannon told Cooper.
“If you get to the fall,” he continued, “and you don’t have a candidate breaking out and looks like it matches up with Trump, I think somebody’s going to call the bullpen and get her to warm up because she’s there and will say I have 63 million votes. I realize heads will blow up and particularly Democrats that don’t want anything to do with her, but at the end of the day, the Democrats will focus on somebody who can beat Donald Trump and search for that.”
Bannon explained that it is “electability” that will factor against Trump, as it “is not a policy discussion.”
“If you are going to beat Donald Trump as an incumbent you’re going to have to bring it,” he said. “You have to really bring it and the field I’ve seen so far, I don’t know anybody that could hit a fastball like Donald Trump can throw.”