Glenn Beck: CPAC turning 'blind eye' to populism; reaction to Steve Bannon 'frightening'

Radio host Glenn Beck told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday that this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has revealed “frightening” behavior by attendees.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s speech to CPAC attendees in the nation’s capital featured rhetoric that The Blaze Network’s founder deemed unnerving. He told CNN that conservatives were turning “a blind eye” to bad long-term policies that run counter to their stated principles.

“It confirmed what I already believed,” Mr. Beck said when asked about Mr. Bannon’s speech. “What is frightening to me is the lack of reaction from the crowd at CPAC. He dropped economic nationalism two or three times during that [speech]. He talked about populism and nationalism a lot. … I don’t know what Steve Bannon’s plan is after he would burn down the system, but he has talked repeatedly about burning the system down to the ground. That’s not good.”

The radio host added that he was pleased with President Donald Trump’s pick of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, but worried by the commander in chief’s economic agenda.

“[Mr. Trump] has done some things that a conservative will like,” Mr. Beck said. “[CPAC attendees] weren’t separating that from the nationalist/populist talk at the main conservative stage. Conservatives, they’re telling you who they are. They’re telling you what they’re going to do, and we just seem to be turning a blind eye to it.”

Mr. Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus both received a warm welcome by CPAC crowds. The two spoke of their working relationship, Mr. Trump’s decision to end the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and “corporatist, globalist media.”

“I think the center core of what we believe, that we’re a nation with an economy — not an economy just in some global marketplace with open border — that we’re a nation with a culture and a reason for being, and I think that’s what unites us and I think that’s what’s going to unite this movement,” Mr. Bannonsaid.

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