Conservatives can expect a daily fight with the media and others in the “opposition,” chief White House strategist Steve Bannon said Thursday.
Bannon was one of the main speakers on the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington, the country’s biggest yearly gathering of conservatives.
WATCH: Bannon Says Corporatist Global Media Opposed to Economic Nationalist Agenda
Bannon, who is among the most controversial conservatives because of his earlier harsh comments about minorities, said the media opposes President Donald Trump’s “economic nationalist agenda.”
“Every day is going to be a fight,” he warned.
Bannon was joined by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who called the president a uniter of Republicans and conservatives of different beliefs, pointing to himself and the sharp-tongued Bannon as an example.
WATCH: Priebus Says Trump ‘Brought Together Party, Conservative Movement’
“And I’ve got to tell you, if the party and the conservative movement are together, similar to Steve and I, it can’t be stopped,” Priebus said.
Earlier Thursday, CPAC heard from top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who said Trump “went right to the grass roots and brought you along. He made a lot of people feel like they were a part of the movement.”
Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to address the conference Thursday night.
Trump’s speech to CPAC on Friday will be the highlight of this year’s conference, which has been energized by Republican control of the White House and Congress for the first time in 10 years.
CPAC leader Matt Schlapp told VOA he saw “a little more of a populist strain” running through the event this year, with Trump serving as the driving force.
“I will agree that there is a little more of a populist strain to conservatives these days. I don’t know if it’s a change in philosophy, but I do know this: It’s because they are so discouraged about what’s been happening in Washington, D.C., over all these years,” he said.
Not all have endorsed Trump’s brand of conservatism, and his past appearances at CPAC have drawn mixed reactions. Many of his stated and past positions on issues put him at odds with conservative orthodoxy.
But Schlapp said there was an “alive and vibrant” coalition made up of three kinds of conservatives: those who care about the culture, those who simply want less government and lower taxes, and others who say the country needs a strong defense.
Schlapp said all were discouraged about what has been happening in Washington in recent years.
“They just feel like no matter how many elections they win, they lose ground, and government grows and taxes increase,” he said.
While conservative Republicans gathered in Maryland, opposition Democrats met in Atlanta to choose a new leader of the Democratic National Committee.
Former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota are the front-runners to lead the party, which is trying to pick up the pieces after November’s election losses.
The moderate-voiced Perez has the backing of more mainstream Democrats, while the outspoken Ellison is supported by the more liberal elements of the party.
But all sides say the Democrats need a leader who can harness the anger and energy coming out of anti-Trump protests and put the party back in control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections.