Republican candidate Donald Trump overhauled his presidential campaign team on Wednesday for the second time in under two months, hiring the head of a conservative news website to bolster his combative image and try to reverse poor opinion poll numbers.
The Republican White House nominee, who is tanking in swing states to his Democratic rival, hired a news executive from a virulently anti-Clinton website as his campaign chief executive and promoted a leading Republican strategist to campaign manager. Trump has anointed him mainly because he possesses the energy that the presidential candidate is looking for in his campaign. The RNC, bless them, they think they know what they’re doing with Hispanic voters, but I’m promising you it’s not going to work.
Mr Trump told AP the new leaders were “terrific people. they’re champs”. “Friends don’t let friends vote for Trump”, she said.
Mr Bannon’s appointment suggested that Mr Trump is aiming not so much to tone down his aggressive style but to be more disciplined in emphasising themes that resonate strongly with the voters he is trying to court, such as his stances on illegal immigration and withering personal criticism of Mrs Clinton.
The shakeup comes as opinion polls show Trump, a wealthy NY businessman who has never held elected office, falling behind Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the race for the November 8 election.
Conway joined Trump’s campaign earlier this year as a senior adviser. The firms lists as clients a who’s who of the conservative and tea party world, including Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Conway called the moves “an expansion at a critical time in the homestretch”. Efforts to rein him in have reportedly failed, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been marginalized with the new hires announced on Wednesday.
While Trump’s campaign staff publicly insists there is plenty of time left for the Republican to change the trajectory of the race, the candidate is facing a shrinking timeline. Wednesday’s announcements come less than three months before Trump’s Election Day faceoff with Democrat Hillary Clinton, and roughly six weeks before early voting begins.
Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News, leads a news organization that has been accused of promoting inaccurate stories and excusing unethical behavior. The Kochs, however, have refused to support Trump. He argues that the changes are aimed towards him being allowed to be himself, while others believe that it is an act of desperation.
“They’ve really been the mouthpiece of the Trump campaign in a way that Fox News was the mouthpiece of previous Republican campaigns”, Fairleigh Dickenson political science professor Dan Cassino said. “Donald Trump has to hit certain marks among white voters, but don’t assume he can’t get some Democratic voters, union voters especially”.
Duquette said the staff is not the answer to Trump’s problems.
That description was quoted approvingly in a Trump press release about Wednesday’s campaign shakeup. Conway also has ties to the Mercers.
Taken together, the men are conservative media experts and masters of the political dark arts – meaning they can help Trump with campaign strategy and with a post-election media plan if he loses.
Trump’s own campaign has enjoyed a burst of fundraising from direct mail and online donations, saying it raised $64 million that way in July alone – the vast majority of which goes to his campaign, not the Republican Party. “That’s it. Pure and simple”, a source familiar with the tensions told CNN, adding that Trump’s gaffes and controversial statements in recent weeks have been fueled in part by his “exasperation” with the campaign’s management.