Former RNC chief Steele rips Cruz and Bannon over war rhetoric in CPAC speech


Senator Ted Cruz and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon came under fire from former Republican National Convention (RNC) leader Michael Steele on Sunday for warlike comments the pair made over the weekend .

Cruz and Bannon spoke Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, with the two delivering speeches often seen as warlike and eager to incite violence. Bannon in his speech said conservatives “are at war” with the left, while Cruz said conservatives must “go fight the barbarians”.

“It’s like the ancient Roman Coliseum where you slam on a breastplate and you grab a battle ax and you go fight the barbarians,” the Texas senator said. “As we say in the military world, it’s a target-rich environment.”

Senator Ted Cruz and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon came under fire from former Republican National Convention (RNC) leader Michael Steele on Sunday for warlike comments the pair made over the weekend . Above is a photo of Steele in 2011.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Steele, who was president of the RNC from 2009 to 2011, appeared on MSNBC The Katie Phang Show Sunday where he criticized comments made by Republican leaders to CPAC.

“It’s more fascism than farce,” he said. “It’s more of a concern than conservatism and it’s really about how we as citizens react to it. How we oppose it. We’re not adversaries of each other, we’re sometimes disagree on big and small issues, but our first inclination as Americans is not to go and kick the neighbor’s ass just because he has a road sign we don’t like.”

Steele then criticized Cruz for focusing on rhetoric instead of helping his home state of Texas, and accused the senator of being more concerned with projecting a strong image.

“Sit down, please. Stop,” Steele continued. “You don’t serve the people of Texas, you haven’t since you’ve been there, the reality is there. But you find the stuff, you find the rhetoric hot, you pose as the big man on campus and you get things done, but that’s not what it’s about, it’s not about getting things done.

In his speech, Bannon called on the GOP to send “shock troops” to Washington, D.C., and called on the crowd to “smash the Democratic Party as a national political institution.” Tapping into more right-wing buzzwords, Bannon accused the Democratic Party of being overrun by “radical and cultural Marxists” and “cleaners” bent on destroying the country.

Newsweek contacted Cruz’s office for comment.


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