Populist political operative Steve Bannon is making his views on the future of the GOP clear, insisting that there is no room for any so-called “Republicans in name only” inside the party.
During a recent segment of his podcast, Bannon called on one such establishment lawmaker, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), to retire.
Specifically, he told his audience that Blunt is guilty of “carrying water” for President Joe Biden, as Just the News reported.
“A personal mistake on his part”
Bannon, who was instrumental in staging former President Donald Trump’s political rise ahead of the 2016 election, has stated unequivocally that he believes the Trump movement remains alive and well.
For his part, Blunt’s persona and ideology hardly mesh with those of the ex-president. A veteran legislator aligned with the Republican Party establishment more closely represents the interests of Trump rivals like Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — and he has not been timid about vocally criticizing the 45th commander in chief.
Following last month’s violent riot on Capitol Hill, Blunt advised Trump to “be very careful,” going on to sharply rebuke him for skipping Biden’s inauguration ceremony.
“I think it was a personal mistake on his part,” the senator said at the time, according to Just the News. “It was the first time in 152 years that a president that could be here for the inauguration wasn’t here.”
“Blunt didn’t just drop the ball”
“His sell-by date is gone, he’s got to retire,” the GOP strategist said. “Blunt didn’t just drop the ball, he’s carrying water for the Biden administration.”
Of course, Missouri’s junior senator, Republican Josh Hawley, has increasingly won over the pro-Trump wing of his party while alienating much of the establishment. Seemingly preparing to take up Trump’s mantle, Hawley appears to relish in the leftist firestorm that followed his decision to publicly object to the results of November’s election.
Blunt has previously shared his thoughts regarding Bannon, including when the adviser left the White House in 2017, declaring: “I think that’s a good thing.”
Trump has also weighed in on his thoughts about the establishment wing of his party, reacting to tough talk from McConnell with a statement calling the Kentucky Republican an “unsmiling political hack” unworthy of holding a GOP leadership position.