On Episode 71 of War Room: Impeachment, Stephen K. Bannon was joined by Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots to discuss grassroots movements, elections, and what she believes the top motivator is for voters.
Jenny Beth Martin discussed her organization’s website, Trump Defense Team, which includes the town halls on the ‘Dirty Thirty’ freshmen Democrats.
Martin explained: “You can get all the town halls; you can get the phone numbers of the Dirty Thirty. These are the congressmen who were elected in 2018. They are Democrat congressmen, they’re freshmen. And they were elected in districts that President Trump won in 2016. And twelve of these districts not only did Trump win – Trump won, Romney won, and McCain won.”
Bannon began elaborating on grassroots movements such as Martin’s, and their importance in elections: “Here’s the thing, the Tea Party had a historic victory in 2010 after the Obamacare vote. And we did lose the Obamacare, but you brought out at some times hundreds of thousands of people to Washington, D.C.. I think one time you had a million people show up. But that momentum led to this massive grassroots victory with virtually no money in 2010. I think it was sixty-two or sixty-three seats.”
“Why didn’t the Tea Party and the grassroots turn out in the summer and fall of ‘18 and keep these thirty-one districts? How did we lose the House when the Tea Party and other grassroots organizations had actually become fantastic? I mean Trump would not be President if it was not for the grassroots movements coming together and really just riding to the sound of the guns in ‘16. How did this happen in ‘18, that essentially led to this impeachment?”
Martin explained her thoughts on what caused the 2018 midterm loss: “The number one motivator, I think, when it comes to these political actions is anger. And it’s hard to be angry when you have the Presidency, both chambers of Congress, and you’ve got a President who is confirming Supreme Court Justices you like. The left was angry.”
Bannon continued: “You’re saying the left essentially – and I said this in the spring and summer of 2018 – they had taken the playbook of the Tea Party Patriots. And I called [the whole thing]: hey, we’re going to lose the House here and they’re going to impeach him. Because I could see [the Democrats’] anger, their motivation. They were knocking on doors in June and July: voter registration, voter engagement, get out to vote. And for whatever reason, we couldn’t muster that same energy. And I think it was because, hey, President Trump’s knocking down things, he’s getting a tax cut, he’s deregulating, he’s passing Supreme Court Justices.”
“Is that anger back now?” he asked.
“The anger is definitely there right now,” Martin said. She explained: “They’re angry because they think what’s happening to President Trump is wrong, it’s not fair. And they see what is happening to President Trump as an assault and an offense personally to them and to their vote.”
Bannon pressed: “Why personally? Is this a cult of personality, or do they respect him as Commander-in-Chief and as the President? Because it’s all mocked and ridiculed. [You look at the] mainstream media it’s this whole cult of personality, and Jenny Beth Martin is a Trump-bot, and all that. Is that how the Tea Party Patriots movement thinks about the President?”
“No,” Martin responded. “We don’t think of it that way at all. What we see going on, though…this continuation where Democrats get to live by one set of rules and laws, and get away with breaking laws that they think Republicans have to live by. It’s just wrong.”
“Are you holding President Trump to the same standard you held President Obama to?” Bannon asked.
“I think that we are,” Martin answered. “I can honestly say that I do not think that the Democrats are. Because here’s how I know that we did with Obama, and they are not with Trump. I didn’t like President Obama’s policies. In fact, some of the policies he had I fought against them, I stood up, I made by voice heard. I did not like the fact that he was reelected. But you never saw me calling for him to be impeached.”
“I don’t ever remember that in the Tea Party at all,” Bannon backed up.
“No,” Martin continued, “because even though we did not like the fact he was elected, we respected our fellow Americans who voted for him enough to respect the decision they made at the polls. We don’t have to like the outcome, but we still respect the system and we respect our fellow Americans. The people who are against President Trump: they have not liked him since the moment he was elected.”