A number of Washington Republicans are pointing fingers at Steve Bannon’s brand of politics as being responsible for the loss of a Senate seat, but Bannon himself is suggesting a different reason. Democrats did a better job at getting out the vote.
On “Breitbart News Radio” on SiriusXM’s Patriot Channel on Wednesday, Bannon credited the Democratic National Committee for getting involved in the Alabama Senate race and boosting the fortunes of Doug Jones.
Jones, a former federal prosecutor, edged out Moore, a former judge, to win the seat. Jones is the first Democrat elected to the Senate from the state in 25 years.
“The DNC came in here, slipped in here, under the radar, and did an amazing job of organizing — what’s my favorite word? Ground game,” Bannon told Alex Marlow on the show. “You got to give the devil its due. I tell people every day. There’s no magic wand. You are going to have to outwork people. If you get outworked you are going to lose, and I got to tell you, their ability to get out votes, that is what it comes down to.”
“You have to grind it out. This is going to be five, 10, 15, 20 years, every day. If we’re prepared to do it, we win,” he said.
He also gave little indication that he was backing away from his involvement in political races, as he seeks to usurp the GOP establishment with figures like Moore and Donald Trump who center their personas on nationalist and anti-elitist rhetoric.
In the aftermath of the race, some Republicans publicly blamed Bannon, who campaigned for Moore and provided strategic advice, for also influencing President Donald Trump’s decision to endorse him late in the race.
The Senate Leadership Fund, which is working to expand Republicans’ majority in the Senate, put out a statement on Tuesday night saying that “not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but he also dragged the President of the United States into his fiasco.”
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) was more cutting on Wednesday, tweeting angrily, “After Alabama disaster GOP must do right thing and DUMP Steve Bannon. His act is tired, inane and morally vacuous. If we are to Make America Great Again for all Americans, Bannon must go! And go NOW!!” He said on CNN that Bannon “does not belong on the national stage. He looks like some disheveled drunk that wandered onto the political stage.”
Trump tweeted early on Wednesday, “The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!”
He also appeared to indirectly blame Moore in another tweet, writing, “If last night’s election proved anything, it proved that we need to put up GREAT Republican candidates to increase the razor thin margins in both the House and Senate.”
Bannon, a former Hollywood producer and financial executive, served as Trump’s chief strategist until August, when he returned to serve as the executive chairman of Breitbart News. The site on Wednesday published a list of the “Five Things That Went Wrong for Roy Moore.” They included “not having a unified GOP,” “margins of loss in urban counties was too much to overcome,” Jones over-performing in swing counties, higher turnout, and Moore depending too much on votes from one of his strongholds, the Wiregrass region.