In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal published Thursday, titled "Good Riddance to Stephen Bannon," President George W. Bush's former deputy chief of staff writes of President Donald Trump's recently-departed chief strategist, "The White House and the country are better off with Mr. Bannon back at the website he described last year as 'the platform for the alt-right.' He will do less damage there than in the West Wing."
Bannon has returned to Breitbart as executive chairman.
Rove also claimed that Bannon is trying to remain in charge and to keep his agenda alive and well at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Mr. Bannon is not the first staffer to believe the White House agenda must mirror his own," Rove writes. "But no other aide in memory has had such grandiose or destructive plans for trying to remain in charge after being shown the door."
Rove maintains that Bannon was a bit over confident when he recently told Bloomberg that he will be "going to war for Trump against his opponents -— on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America."
"Success might not come so easily," Rove writes. "Just as before, one of Mr. Bannon's principal aims will be replacing the GOP congressional leadership by supporting populist primary challengers. But last year his attempted political hit on House Speaker Paul Ryan - —for which he recruited a primary challenger and pummeled the speaker daily through Breitbart news stories -- ended with Mr. Ryan winning with 84% of the primary vote."
Rove also took issue with Trump attacking fellow Republicans at his recent rally in Phoenix. The president said of Sen. Jeff Flake, "no one knows who the hell he is." And while the president did not identify Sen. John McCain by name, he clearly was referring to the fact that he did not vote in favor of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Said Trump: "One vote away! I will not mention any names. Very presidential, isn't it?"
Writes Rove, "Memo to the White House: The worst way to strengthen a president is publicly to blame his difficulties on allies. The least effective way to pass an agenda is to threaten the president’s party in Congress."