Incoming White House chief strategist Steve Bannon looked back at the 2016 election in an interview with Breitbart News, saying the "hobbits and deplorables" who had been discounted had the biggest voice this past year.
The former Breitbart chairman recalled Sen. John McCain's 2011 comments referring to "Tea Party hobbits" and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign trail comments calling President-elect Donald Trump's supporters a "basket of deplorables."
"We used to tease, after John McCain made that speech that time, that called our audience 'hobbits,' it was always great to hear what the hobbits had to say because at the end of the day what they had to say was what mattered most," Bannon said.
Bannon also said he expects 2017 to be more exciting than 2016.
"We don't like to try to guess what's going to happen in the future, but I've got to tell you, I think people were very engaged in this election, and I think will be very engaged as time goes forward," Bannon said. "The key is to hold people accountable. The hobbits, or the deplorables, had a great run in '16. Everybody mocked them and ridiculed them, and now they've spoken."
He also encouraged Breitbart commenters to continue to "hold people accountable."
"I noticed on Breitbart over the last month or two, as either certain [Trump administration] appointments were made or certain things were done that didn't comport with behavior that the deplorables or the hobbits thought were correct, it was interesting to see some of the articles written on the site, and the intensity in the comments," Bannon said.
"I think that's great. People are engaged."
Breitbart, a right-wing website, was very supportive of Trump in the general election, and Bannon was eventually brought on as CEO of Trump's campaign.