INDIANAPOLIS – The growing break between President Trump and Steve Bannon has brought plenty of fallout to GOP primaries across the country, with two Hoosier candidates who sought Bannon’s endorsement failing to say if they still want his support.
The anger between President Trump and one of his most senior former advisors exploded into full view yesterday with the publication of excerpts from a new book featuring comments from Bannon about President Trump and his family. President Trump fully severed ties between the two men in a lengthy statement claiming that Bannon had “lost his mind” and instead of trying to improve America was “simply seeking to burn it all down.”
The fighting has put in an awkward position the Republican candidates who thought they could simultaneously court the support of both Trump and Bannon for their shared right-wing nationalist world view, including Congressman Rokita and Rep. Braun. Both men were mentioned in October as candidates pursuing Bannon’s endorsement. Yet the pair have also recently stressed their pro-Trump bona fides in recent months in videos and TV ads.
Yet now courting Bannon could mean angering the notoriously volatile President Trump, and pursuing the president’s support might antagonize the vindictive Bannon. So far, neither Congressman Rokita nor Rep. Braun have said if they’re still seeking Bannon’s endorsement.
“The nastiest civil war in the fractured Republican Party isn’t between the Bannon wing and the establishment—it’s between the Bannon wing and the Trump wing, and woe to any Republican like Rep. Braun or Congressman Rokita who find themselves caught in the middle,” said John Zody, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “After aggressively seeking both Bannon’s and Trump’s support, both candidates ought to tell Hoosiers where they stand in this vicious, personal fight. Are they with President Trump, or his former so-called kingmaker?”