Prominent Nebraska Republicans seem mystified by a former Trump chief strategist’s threat that he will back a Republican primary challenge to Senator Deb Fischer’s re-election.
President Donald Trump’s chief political strategist, Steve Bannon, has declared war on the Republican establishment, stating not even incumbents such as Deb Fischer should feel safe.
The comments strike former Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican, as odd.
“So, to suggest that there is something to the right of Deb Fischer that is better just makes no sense to me whatsoever. I just don’t get that,” Johanns tells Iowa Public Television during a stop in that state.
Bannon returned to Breitbart News after leaving the White House.
A story published on the Breitbart website stated Bannon declared war on the Republican establishment during an interview with Sean Hannity on his Fox News Channel show. Bannon said no Republican up for re-election in 2018 should feel safe.
During the interview with Hannity, Bannon stated, “Even safe incumbents like [John] Barrasso and Deb Fischer – they have to understand something. Just voting is not good enough. You have to have a sense of urgency. Nobody’s safe. We are coming after all of them and we are going to win.”
Some media reports indicate Bannon has targeted Fischer, because she serves on Senate President Mitch McConnell’s leadership team. Bannon opposes McConnell.
Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican running his own re-election campaign, dismisses the threat.
“I frankly don’t think much will come of it, because Deb Fischer has been doing such a great job for Nebraska,” Ricketts tells Nebraska Radio Network. “I think Nebraskans know what a great job she’s doing. Steve’s obviously not from Nebraska, so I don’t think he knows that, but I know Nebraskans know it.”
Ricketts says he backs Fischer’s re-election bid 100-percent.
Fischer is up for re-election next year after a stunning upset victory in the Republican primary five years ago. After securing the Republican nomination, Fischer went on to easily defeat Democrat Bob Kerrey, the former United States Senator and governor from Nebraska, in the general election.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]