by WorldTribune Staff, October 25, 2017
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon reacted to the news on Oct. 24 that Sen. Jeff Flake would not seek a second term by saying “Our movement will defeat you in primaries or force you to retire.”
“The days of establishment Republicans who oppose the people’s America First agenda are numbered,” Bannon said.
Bannon has vowed to recruit primary challengers to all Republican incumbents with the exception of Sen. Ted. Cruz of Texas.
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who, like Flake, had lashed out at President Donald Trump, likely would have attracted a Bannon-backed challenger had he not decided to retire after 2018.
Other reported GOP targets of Bannon, Breitbart and their allied outside group Great America Alliance include Sens. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Deb Fischer of Nebraska and John Barrasso of Wyoming.
Flake, who wrote a book about how Republicans need to reclaim conservativism from Trump, said he was alarmed and frustrated by what he called the president’s “behavior.”
“If I have been critical, it not because I relish criticizing the behavior of the president of the United States. If I have been critical, it is because I believe that it is my obligation to do so, as a matter of duty and conscience,” he said.
“The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters – the notion that one should say and do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided,” Flake said.
Bannon’s group is supporting former state Sen. Kelli Ward in the Arizona Senate primary. Polls showed that Flake faced a tough path to re-election.