The CEO of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign on Thursday pushed back against characterizations that the Republican’s victory was akin to the French Revolution.
“This is not the French Revolution,” Stephen Bannon flatly told Bloomberg.
He explained: “They destroyed the basic institutions of society and changed their form of government. What Trump represents is a restoration — a restoration of true American capitalism.”
The Breitbart executive who took a leave to lead Trump’s campaign described the New York businessman as “fundamentally populist.”
“He’s the leader of a populist uprising,” Bannon said. “But he’s also an enormously successful entrepreneur who succeeded in real estate, media, and branding.”
Anti-establishment sentiment swept through the campaign this cycle, whether for Trump or Democratic president hopeful Bernie Sanders, a Vermont senator.
While Clinton overwhelmingly won the vote in all of America’s major cities and urban centers, Trump was able to boost the Republican turnout in many of the country’s Midwestern rural counties to levels well beyond what 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney received, which in turn helped him flip reliably Democratic states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and in all likelihood, Michigan as well.
“Those elites [Trump rails against] are represented in Washington by a bevy of lobbyists,” Bannon said. “Crony capitalism has gotten out of control. Trump saw this. The American people saw this. And they have risen up to smash it. Ordinary people want to make sure we have an evenhanded system that’s transparent and accountable and takes their interests into mind. And they want to share in the rewards.”
Bannon said Hillary Clinton served as a good contrast for Trump’s message.
“Hillary Clinton was the perfect foil for Trump’s message,” he told Bloomberg. “From her e-mail server, to her lavishly paid speeches to Wall Street bankers, to her FBI problems, she represented everything that middle-class Americans had had enough of.”
Trump was set to meet with President Barack Obama on Thursday to begin the transition of power.