Delaware’s Carper, Blunt Rochester join Bannon criticism

Executive producer Stephen Bannon poses at the premiere of 'Sweetwater' during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on Thursday

Executive producer Stephen Bannon poses at the premiere of 'Sweetwater' during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on Thursday

Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons came out against President-elect Trump’s selection of Steve Bannon as chief strategist, now both Sen. Tom Carper and Congresswoman-elect Lisa Blunt Rochester are joining that chorus.

 

Senator Carper signed onto a letter with ten of his Senate colleagues calling for Trump to immediately fire Bannon. “We call on you to exclude proponents of discrimination and hatred from the ranks of your administration,” the Senators write.

Bannon was the former executive director of the right-wing newsite Breitbart, where he oversaw articles seemingly designed to offend certain groups with headlines like “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive And Crazy,” and “Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.” The Confederate flag article was published just days after a man allegedly killed nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., in hopes of igniting a race war.

The group is also critical of Trump’s campaign strategy which they say encouraged acts of “bigotry, racism and sexism” now being seen in the nation. “It is the logical consequence of your campaign attacks on and discrimination aimed at Hispanics, African Americans, veterans, immmigrants, women, Muslims, Jews, and individuals with disabilities,” they write. “Your conduct has empowered too many Americans to act on their darkest impulses.” 

In addition to firing Bannon, the Senators ask Trump to address the nation to demand an end to verbal and physical attacks. “You have the power as President to move beyond the hate-filled rhetoric of your campaign,” they write.

Delaware’s next member of Congress, U.S. Rep.-elect Lisa Blunt Rocester also weighed in on Bannon’s role in the new administration. “His appointment of Stephen Bannon, a known white nationalist, anti-Semite and bigot, runs contrary to that statement. I’m deeply disappointed by this decision and implore the President-elect to reconsider,” she said in an emailed statement. “In his victory speech, President-elect Trump noted that he would be a President for all Americans.”

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, also issued a statement earlier this week criticizing Trump’s move. “The President-elect must make it clear that the toxic blend of hate and bigotry that Mr. Bannon has made a living propagating has no place in a Trump administration,” Coons said Wednesday. “In his election night victory speech, President-elect Trump pledged to be a president for all Americans. His choice of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist is deeply disturbing and fundamentally inconsistent with that pledge.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.