Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has got all hands on deck for the upcoming midterms; launching Citizens for the American Republic (COAR) - an outside political group which will advise surrogates, generate talking points and assist with media campaigns for candidates.
As part of his new campaign, Bannon - a former Hollywood producer with several films under his belt - will release a new documentary on September 9, "Trump@War," the two year anniversary of then-candidate Hillary Clinton calling Trump voters "deplorables."
Bannon calls the November midterm election a referendum on Trump, one which could have disastrous consequences for the President should Democrats regain control of Congress.
"It’s very simple to me. This is a referendum on Trump, up-or-down vote on impeachment," he said. "This other side, they’re very motivated — and they’re motivated for one thing: They want to impeach Donald Trump."
"It’s all on the table Nov. 6," Bannon added. "This is the re-elect. How do you use this to trigger the civil war in the Democratic party? You must win. [The midterms] have more value than the typical, ‘We‘re holding the House."
Bannon spoke with Axios about the new film, which they describe as designed "to portray Trump supporters as being under siege — complete with clips of CNN’s Don Lemon, and footage of a "Make America Great Again" hat being burned."
Bannon, describing the film, told me: "How jacked do we think Trump will be when he sees this?"
- Bannon added: "If you’re a deplorable, you’ll literally standing on your chair with your pitchfork saying: 'I’ve got to get people out to vote.'"
- Bannon said the film — from his longtime production company, Victory Films — will last about 75 minutes, and will include interviews with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; Dr. Seb Gorka, an alumnus of Trump’s White House; and about 18 others. -Axios
Axios' take is that "Everything is a war to Steve," and that "Bannon’s caricatured framing of the election — as one pitting hooded Antifa members and Dems screaming about impeachment and burning MAGA hats, against the hero Donald Trump — will almost certainly appeal to Donald Trump."
That said, they would be surprised if Trump can get over his hatred of Bannon after he let author Michael Wolff into the White House to gather material for his largely discredited book: Fire and Fury.
- Whenever I mention Bannon’s name to a White House official or Republican leadership sources, they still roll their eyes.
- And when it comes to midterm politics, they like to mention, derisively, his scorched earth campaign on behalf of an accused pedophile, Roy Moore. I’ll be surprised if Bannon becomes a magnet for serious donor money for the fall. But this is a country full of quixotic billionaires, so who the heck knows.
- Trump still hates "Sloppy Steve" and thinks he tries to steal his limelight. So Bannon was smart to recruit some of Trump’s favorite diehards. -Axios
Bannon says that his new group is designed to stoke the "populist-nationalist movement" which Trump rode into office on, which includes booking, messaging and rapid-response operations which will regularly brief "friendly cable-news pundits."
- "The war room is up and running," Bannon bragged, saying Citizens of the American Republican will focus on the triumvirate of ideas, communication and action.
- "When I got involved [with the Trump presidential campaign] in August 2016, Trump was down 12, 14, 16 points. Democrats thought I was a clown. They never took him seriously. We caught them napping. We can do it again." -Axios
Bannon contends that the effort to hold the House for the GOP is "more winnable" than Trump's campaign was three months before Election Day. "I think we can hold this to a net loss [for Republicans] of under 15 seats," said Bannon, adding "All the whining I hear among establishment Republicans, all the whining I hear in the official corridors of the Republican Party, has got to stop."
That said, Politico notes that "many Republicans, however, have been making the argument that it is normal for the president‘s party to lose House seats in the midterms of his first term. And the White House and the Republican National Committee still have no working relationships with Bannon, who is running his own outsider show."
Bannon notably told the Politico in July that the powerful Koch brothers need to "Shut up and get with the program."
“And here’s the program: Ground game to support Trump’s presidency and program, [and] victory on Nov. 6.”