Bannon: O’Rourke, Buttigieg, Harris campaigning ‘like they are running for student council president’

Joe Concha 05/21/19 08:44 AM EDT

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon on Monday characterized some Democratic presidential candidates as “running like they are running for student council president” by not talking about issues related to China, Iran and Venezuela.

During an appearance on Fox Business, Bannon specifically pointed out poll numbers for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who are all polling in single digits and trailing the front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, by at least 30 points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

“As you look at that landscape, who would you say is the biggest threat for Donald Trump in 2020?” host Trish Regan asked the former executive editor of Breitbart News.

“Well, listen, since I think these election are not about persuasion but mobilization, and looking off of 2018, well, [Democrats] did a great job,” Bannon said while speaking from Paris. “Remember in the House races, they beat us 52-46, I think they got 6 or 8 million votes more. 2018 should be studied in detail. It’s about mobilization.”

He went on to say that some candidates are not focused on larger international issues.

“They have some terrific young candidates, but nobody has broken out,” Bannon said. “I think one of the reasons they are in single digits, is Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete, Beto, across the board, they are running like they are running for student council president. They are not talking about China. They’re not talking about Iran. They’re not talking about Venezuela.

“This is a very dangerous world right now, and President Trump has got a very same policy he’s going through. This is almost like 1930s to a degree,” Bannon concluded. “We’re going through a dark valley against very tough individuals, and a lot of — as President Trump calls them, are ‘bad hombres,’ OK? And you hear debates, it is like the United States exists on an island. That is not the case.”

Bannon has repeatedly focused on China in recent interviews, including with CNBC last week.

“China has been running an economic war against the industrial democracies for now 20 years,” he said in an appearance on “Squawk Box” on May 15.

“There is no chance that Donald Trump backs down from this. I think he’s looking at the good of people on a global basis,” he added.

Bannon departed in the White House in August 2017 after seven months as Trump’s chief strategist.

THE HILL

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