Trump shakes up campaign! READY TO BLITZ HILLARY!
Donald Trump, hitting reset on his 2016 campaign, is preparing to roll out his first wave of general election TV ads in four pivotal battleground states after shaking up the top of his team in a bid to focus his message and make up lost ground in the polls against Hillary Clinton.
Trump shakes up campaign expanding staff
“I am committed to doing whatever it takes to win this election, and ultimately become President because our country cannot afford four more years of the failed Obama-Clinton policies which have endangered our financial and physical security,” Trump said in a statement earlier announcing the latest staffing changes.
In what was described as an expansion, Trump promoted pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager and named Stephen Bannon, the co-founder of Breitbart News, as campaign chief executive. Trump said in the statement that Paul Manafort, who took over following the departure of Corey Lewandowski in June, will maintain his current title and work closely with Conway and Bannon on the campaign moving forward.
Meanwhile, a senior Trump aide told Fox News the campaign will be rolling out TV ads in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina.
Released three days earlier than Manafort originally planned – the campaign had prepared to launch ads after the Olympics, which ended last Sunday. Clinton, though, has been plastering the airwaves with ads, while taking a significant post-convention lead in a several battleground and national polls.
Trump shakes up campaign
Trump seems to be changing up his approach, amid concerns that his off-the-cuff style could be hurting him in the general election environment. In a shift, he delivered a scripted speech to a rally audience Tuesday night in Wisconsin, appealing to minority voters in part by accusing Clinton of “bigotry” and saying she sees African-Americans as no more than votes to be won.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump voiced confidence in the state of his campaign.
“We’ve got a lot of money in the bank and I haven’t spent any of it,” he said, while confirming his campaign would be airing ads soon. “We’ve got some pretty good ads,” he said.
In a statement, Trump also called Conway and Bannon “extremely capable.”
Conway told Fox News that “everyone else” on the campaign will remain in place.
“This is an expansion during the busy homestretch in the campaign,” she added.
“What’s become clear from this is that no matter how much the establishment wants to clean Donald Trump up … and get him on message, he has officially won the fight to let Trump be Trump,” he said. “It’s time that we believe him.”
Though Trump previously has resisted repeated calls from fellow Republicans to change his approach on the campaign trail that has powered his surge to the top of the GOP field in the primary season.
“You know, I am who I am,” he told a local Wisconsin television station. “It’s me. I don’t want to change. Everyone talks about, ‘Oh, well you’re going to pivot, you’re going to.’ I don’t want to pivot. I mean, you have to be you. If you start pivoting, you’re not being honest with people.”
The Associated Press reported that the moves were discussed at a lengthy senior staff meeting at Trump Tower, while the billionaire mogul was on the road. Additional senior hires are expected to come in the next few days.
Trump, whose campaign is built on his persona as a winner, said several times that the campaign is “doing well,” and said his speech hours earlier in Wisconsin was well-received.
“We’re going to be doing something very dramatic,” Trump added.
In the Wisconsin outing, Trump accused Clinton of “bigotry” and being “against the police,” claiming that she and other Democrats have “betrayed the African-American community” and pandered for votes.
Donald Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said that the creation of a “deportation force” for undocumented immigrants under a Trump administration was “to be determined.”
Throughout the Republican primary, Trump supported the forcible removal of the some 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to live in the United States.
Last November, he called for a deportation force to do the job. In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” he said, “You’re going to have a deportation force, and you’re going to do it humanely.”
His campaign convened a meeting of a new Hispanic advisory board. Speaking to NBC Latino of an “open-minded” Trump, Hispanic supporters who attended the meeting suggested the GOP candidate would unveil a new immigration plan that offered solutions beyond deportation.
With 73 days left until the November election, strategizing the daily movements of Donald Trump and Mike Pence — from their campaign stops to their fundraisers — would seem to be key for the GOP duo in their comeback bid to cut into Hillary Clinton’s supposed lead in the polls.
“We have inherited a schedule that we are taking better control of,” Conway told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
Pence Hits the Campaign Trail Strong
Yet Pence’s first month on the campaign trail — totaling more than 40 campaign rallies and town halls — has not drastically differed from the road map laid down by Paul Ryan’s vice presidential campaign in its first month on the road in 2012.
Pence has hit 10 of the same 11 states targeted by Ryan in his first month: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina (5 stops each); Wisconsin (4 stops); Virginia and Nevada (3 stops each); Michigan and Colorado (2 stops each); and New Hampshire (1 stop).
Unlike Ryan, Pence has yet to hold any public events in Florida, but instead, has visited cities in Arizona, New Mexico and his home state of Indiana. Eight of his events were joint rallies alongside Trump.
“In that sprint through those three months, (Ryan) was doing basically three things after the convention: Events in swing states, fundraising and then preparing for the VP debate — plus doing a ton of local media,” said Michael Steel, Ryan’s campaign press secretary in 2012.
Pence has followed that playbook with independent fundraisers and a focus on interviews with local media markets, but he has also distinctly worked to reach out to elected Republican officials when visiting their respective communities.
He has so far brought out 18 members of Congress and four governors to appear publicly at rallies alongside him. And he has reached out to other prominent names, such as Sens. John McCain and Kelly Ayotte.
Though Pence’s selection to join the ticket was made, in part, to help shore up conservative support through the Midwest and Rust Belt states, Steel noted that there is little evidence to suggest a vice presidential candidate has swayed an election — or even a state — in the last 50 years.
Pence is currently balancing his time between Republican-controlled districts and more moderate, some even Democratic districts that are tactically vital to the campaign’s November success. Those districts offer potential crossover voters, valuable donors and access to sizable media markets.
For example, in Wisconsin, Pence in his very first solo stop as a vice presidential candidate visited Waukesha, a solidly conservative area just outside of Milwaukee — the very suburbs that propelled Ted Cruz to a Wisconsin primary victory over Trump.
It also happened to be the location of Paul Ryan’s first campaign stop after Mitt Romney tapped him to join the GOP ticket in 2012.
Two weeks later, however, in Pence’s return visit to Wisconsin, he made a dedicated stop into La Crosse, a Democratic corridor on the state’s western edge. La Crosse County went in favor of President Barack Obama by 18 percent in the 2012 cycle.
Pence: Trump will fight for law and order!
But a campaign official told NBC News that Trump is targeting the “working voters” in that region, calling them his “bread and butter.” And in fact, the congressional district encompassing La Crosse was one of just two districts in the state to favor Trump over Cruz at the ballot box in the April primary, a sizable difference among a Republican voting block that, as a state, provided a 13-point victory.
But Pence has also focused time out West — hitting Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.
“I think it’s going to be a Trump campaign calculation on where,” said Floyd Ciruli, a longtime Colorado pollster. “He’s obviously got to win some states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, so does he need another 9 electoral votes? That’s then where these states in the West become the most potentially in play.”
In Arizona, Pence hit the two major media markets in one day with rallies in Tucson and Phoenix.
And in Colorado — although Denver’s liberal core is not attractive on its face to the campaign — the Denver TV market has extensive reach beyond the city limits. Pence went to Colorado Springs for his second stop, which Ciruli called the “heartland of the Republican Party right now.”
Back in the Rust Belt, Pence has paid a distinct amount of time to visiting an array of Ohio cities, including Moraine, which sits just outside of Dayton.
“It’s a hard scrabble, blue-collar area that has seen some really tough times but has a lot of Trump support in that area,” said Mark Weaver, a Ohio Republican political consultant.
Mike Pence: Donald Trump ‘has a heart for our soldiers’!
In fact, Dayton, the state’s sixth-largest city, handed home state Gov. John Kasich just a 5 percent win over Trump in this spring’s Ohio primary. Comparatively, each of the five biggest cities gave Kasich at least a 14 percent margin of victory.
Pence also made a peculiar solo, round-trip journey to Lima, Ohio, from Indianapolis during his first week on the trail despite its status as just the 30th most-populated town in the Buckeye State.
But the city has its own independent local TV stations, and after Romney beat Obama nearly two votes to one in the city four years ago, the stop was an opportunity to secure the base in the key state while still early in the campaigning process.
And crucially, Weaver noted, Pence has already made a stop into Cincinnati, the river town near the border of Indiana.
“If Donald Trump and Mike Pence don’t win big in those areas around Cincinnati, they cannot win Ohio,” Weaver said while offering up the belief that Pence is “a good messenger” there.
In Iowa, voter turnout in its fervently conservative land, like Sioux City, where Pence visited in early August, is key to the ticket solidifying its own Republican base, local party leaders say.
“It’s the reddest part of the state, and it’s where Republicans really need to make sure we drive turnout to win in the fall,” said Cody Hoefert, co-chair of the Iowa Republican Party.
And when Pence rolled into Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 9, he reminisced to the conservative crowd about his own childhood in the town of Columbus, Indiana.
“Lancaster is — my gosh, you know, I grew up with a cornfield in my backyard,” Pence told the crowd in the agricultural-reliant city. “I know how sturdy, how important a family farm is to the vitality and the character of this nation.”
Pence has thus far concentrated his attention on just 13 states, but with deficits in places such as Wisconsin, Colorado and Virginia looking more difficult to crack, his attention could be increasingly more focused.
And in the remaining states up for grabs, a key aspect of Pence’s use of time could be helping local campaign operations snag potential supporters’ information at his campaign events and win over new volunteers.
It’s worked before.
At a town hall in Henderson, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas, a campaign volunteer told NBC News — with a box of flash card-sized, filled-out contact cards behind her — that the Nevada operation had collected “hundreds and hundreds” as a result of Pence’s stop.
Trump and Pence is the winning team for America!
Together these two great men will Make America Great Again.
The Republican ticket is the ticket for real change, real growth, and Real Pride, restored to this once great Nation, that for so long has been led down a twisted road of Globalization and Destruction!
Now more than ever America needs real true leadership, leadership that has America first in its heart and will put Americans first!