Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon, an erstwhile member of President Donald Trump's tumultuous administration, recently described former President George W. Bush as the most “destructive” commander in chief in American history.
“There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush's,” Bannon said Friday night during a speech at the California Republican Party's convention in Anaheim, Fox News reported.
Bannon's broad-brush critique comes on the heels of the former Republican president's veiled condemnation of Trump's brash behavior. On Thursday, Bush said sentiments of “nationalism” have been “distorted into nativism,” noting many have forgotten “the dynamism immigration has always brought to America.”
The 43rd president also said disagreements in our politics have often devolved “into dehumanization” because our discourse has been “degraded by casual cruelty.”
But what Bush might have meant as a genuine call for unity, Bannon saw as an assault on Trump's supporters and the unbridled political rhetoric that has become commonplace in right-wing circles.
Bannon said Bush doesn't know if “he is coming or going, just like it was when he was president.” Each time he mentioned the former leader's name, the California audience booed.
Of course, Bannon's potent attack on Bush comes as no surprise.
The Breitbart News chairman recently pledged an all-out war on establishment Republicans in 2018, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity he plans to “cut off the oxygen” to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“It's a new game in town," Bannon told Hannity. ”[W]e're going after these guys tooth and nail."
For what it's worth, though, Trump, who earlier said he “understand[s] fully” Bannon's qualms with certain GOP lawmakers, told reporters on Monday that he's hoping to “talk him out of” challenging some Republicans “because, frankly, they're great people.”