Donald Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, spent the primary season as a cable news pundit attacking Trump for his “unpresidential” and “vulgar” language, for having “built a lot of his business on the backs of the little guy,” and for not releasing his tax returns. Conway’s previous lines of criticism are similar to charges the Clinton campaign has levied to admonish the Republican candidate.
Trump Campaign Promotes Kellyanne Conway To Campaign Manager
WSJ: The Trump Campaign “Is Promoting Kellyanne Conway, A Veteran GOP Pollster And Strategist, To Become Campaign Manager.” On August 17, The Wall Street Journal reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign “is promoting Kellyanne Conway, a veteran GOP pollster and strategist, to become campaign manager.” The Journal noted that “Ms. Conway recently joined the Trump campaign after working for a super PAC that supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, but Mr. Trump wanted to promote her and liked the idea of elevating a woman as his campaign manager,” according to an aide. [The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/16]
Conway Has Previously Attacked Donald Trump For “Untrue” And “Unpresidential” Comments
Conway: Trump “Says He's For The Little Guy But He's Actually Built A Lot Of His Businesses On The Backs Of The Little Guy.” Conway stated that Trump had “actually built a lot of his business on the backs of the little guy” and has a history of “not paying contractors after [they have helped him] build something,” adding that “the little guys have suffered” because of Trump. From the February 10 edition of CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Before the victims of his elevated kind of talk, they were unions and they were Democrats, and they were people who were living off the system. But then it looked like it was commuters and everyday people. And I think that's actually something that could hurt Trump in South Carolina and beyond if people start to see that he's not -- he says he's for the little guy, but he's actually built a lot of his businesses on the backs of the little guy and he's a lot of little guys through eminent domain, or through not paying contractors after you’ve built something. The little guys have suffered. [CNN, CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, 2/10/16]
Conway: Trump Victims Include “Victims Of Trump University, Victims Of Trump In Atlantic City.” Conway praised anti-Trump messaging, saying it’s that “gotten better” because people are “starting to talk about victims of Trump University, victims of Trump in Atlantic City.” Conway also continued highlighting Trump’s hypocrisy in claiming that he is “for the little guy,” when really he has built his business “on the backs of the little guy.” From the March 8 edition of CNN’s At This Hour:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: For Trump, the debates are fraught with peril. Because now the question is going to be about these Trump victims. The reason the messaging has gotten better since Alex’s barnburner of an article two weeks ago is they’re starting to talk about victims of Trump University, victims of Trump in Atlantic City. Before that it was his conservative apostasies, now it’s actually you’re for the little guy but you’ve built your business on the backs of the little guy. [CNN, At This Hour, 3/8/16]
Conway: “I Would Like To See” Trump’s Tax Returns “Be Transparent.” Conway criticized Trump’s failure to release his tax returns, saying, “I would like to see those be transparent.” She also castigated Trump’s “unpresidential” rhetoric, referencing the time when he “insulted [his opponents] as ‘lying Ted’ and John Kasich ‘who eats like this slob.’” From the April 25 edition of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:
DON LEMON (HOST): So, I want to ask you about this alliance between, you first, Kellyanne, between John Kasich and Ted Cruz, this alliance, shall we say, that Donald Trump is calling collusion, is this fair game?
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Of course it's fair game.
LEMON: Are they playing by the rules here?
CONWAY: Oh, absolutely. It's completely transparent. Donald Trump's tax returns aren't, I would like to see those be transparent.
And I think instead of worrying about them and insulting them as ‘lying Ted’ and John Kasich ‘who eats like this slob’ and everything else that was said today, which is fairly unpresidential, I think he should just ignore them. I mean if he wasn’t worried about them, why not just ignore these two people he thinks aren’t actual competitors? I actually think they got under his skin today. [CNN, CNN Tonight, 4/25/16]
Conway Condemned Trump For “Hurl[ing] Personal Insults” And Using “Vulgar” Language That Was “Unfortunate For Children.” Conway reprimanded Trump for using “the p-word” at a rally, language she characterized as “unfortunate for children,” and claimed that voters “will think thrice now when they go into the ballot box.” From the February 9 edition of CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: And I think that was a great try, Scottie [Nell Hughes]. But it's vulgar. And this is the equivalent, really, in New Hampshire of Donald Trump skipping the debate in Iowa. It cost him votes, and I think people will think thrice now when they go into that ballot box and say, “Look, I tried to send a message all along to Donald Trump, to the establishment, but now I got to get serious about sending somebody to the White House. And do I want somebody who hurls personal insults or who goes and talks about philosophical differences?”
You screaming at me and trying to hog all the airtime is not going to take back the p-word from last night, which was unfortunate for children and otherwise. [CNN, CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, 2/9/16]
Conway: Trump “Can Whine And Complain” By Saying “The System Is Rigged,” But “There’s No Place In Politics For Accusing Folks Of Using Gestapo Tactics.” Conway mocked Trump’s complaints after he lost the Colorado primary that “the system is rigged, the system is corrupt,” sayng, “You can whine and complain all you want,” but “you didn’t know the rules.” She also attacked the Trump campaign’s claim that Colorado winner Sen. Ted Cruz used “Gestapo tactics,” saying “there’s no place in politics” for those comments. Conway also denounced Trump ally Roger Stone for attempting to intimidate delegates, saying Trump should tell him “to cut the crap.” From the April 13 edition of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:
DON LEMON (HOST): Is the Trump campaign intimidating people do you think, Kellyanne?
KELLYANNE CONWAY: It seems like they're trying to. There's a great article today in The Washington Post by Ed O’Keefe, Don, and he really laid out the facts of what happened this weekend. So, we hear from the Trump campaign, rules, the rules changed, it's not fair, the system is rigged, the system is corrupt, and by extension to Colorado delegates it would be corrupt who participated in it, I suppose.
And yet, very clearly it was laid out there that Steven House, who is the party chair of Colorado, has received over 3,000 calls since the convention, all of them nasty and he posted on Facebook, “When I hear about burials and my family mentioned in the same sentence, this isn't politics, this isn't democracy, this is crazy.”
And so, you can whine and complain all you want, that you didn't know the rules, you changed the rules. I would just also say there's analysis today that Donald Trump’s won 35 percent of the popular vote but 40 percent -- 42 percent of the delegates already.
So, apparently they like the rules -- they like those rules. But look, there's no place in politics, and I hope Kayleigh will back me up on this, no place in politics for people accusing folks of using Gestapo tactics, the Gestapo that was Nazi tactics. And they took people and killed them. And I don't like this kind of references in politics just because your team can’t get their life together in Colorado.
CONWAY: Wouldn’t you love to see, no, you know what you'd love to see, Kayleigh, Donald Trump stand up and say, “Roger Stone cut the crap. Stop threatening people and their lives.” That's not democracy. [CNN, CNN Tonight, 4/13/16]
Conway Accused The Trump Campaign Of Becoming Too “Cozy With The Establishment”: “Goodness, You’ve Hired Paul Manafort.” Conway charged the Trump campaign with “becoming a little cozy with the establishment” by hiring Paul Manafort as chairman. From the April 4 edition of CNN’s At This Hour:
BARRY BENNETT: The establishment’s love of Ted Cruz recently which, once they get to the convention, they’ll be like, “Ted who?” But, anyway, it kind of plays in our favor. It looks like he’s a part of the establishment when he does this. Which is -- I think it’s working against him to a certain extent.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Goodness, you've hired Paul Manafort, who ran the convention for Ronald Reagan in 1976.
BENNETT: I don’t think Paul Manafort is a hired employee, Kellyanne.
CONWAY: No, I think he's part of the establishment, though. And just this afternoon, on Twitter, it was revealed that your delegates in New Jersey include Governor Christie, one of his sons, and half of the county chairs. I think you're becoming --
BENNETT: A former United States Senator and another former governor too.
CONWAY: You're becoming a little cozy with the establishment because you need to. [CNN, At This Hour, 4/5/16]
Conway: Trump's “False” Accusations About The Cruz Campaign Show “The Danger Of Just Saying Things That Aren't True." Conway rebuked Trump for lobbing “personal insults at somebody’s wife” as well as for his accusations that Cruz was “committing a felony and breaking a law,” adding that such a comment reveals “the danger of just saying things that aren’t true.” From the April 6 edition of CNN’s Erin Burnett Outfront:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Ours is the only pro-Cruz super PAC that's recognized by the Cruz campaign as a super PAC. And I -- it's blatantly false and it's very hurtful. It's actually very disappointing because I think when you lose a primary, you just say, “This is a bad day for the home team,” and you move on. You graciously say congratulations and you say, “I'll see you on my home turf in New York.”
But look, it's one thing to hurl personal insults at somebody's wife, and that cost Mr. Trump dearly in Wisconsin and dearly among women voters all across this country. Read the polls. Mr. Trump loves the polls. You live by the polls, you die by the polls.
But it is quite another to accuse Ted Cruz himself and professionals who have been at this long as you have, Ed, practically, of committing a felony and breaking a law. We could just brush it off, but it shows you the danger of just saying things that aren't true and getting people to believe it and getting 20,000 people at a rally today to just lap it up as if it's true. [CNN, Erin Burnett Outfront, 4/6/16]
Conway: Unlike Trump, “Pro-Life Candidates” “Don’t Need Four Or Five Times To Get It Right.” Conway disavowed Trump’s suggestion that there should be some form of punishment for women who have abortions, arguing that he had “upended” decades of work by pro-lifers, and she implied that real pro-life candidates “would have gotten [the question] right the first time.” She also criticized Trump’s “free earned media coverage” and said, “If you live by the media questions, sometimes you have to die by the media questions.” From the March 30 edition of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:
DON LEMON (HOST): People are not going to throw any presidential candidate softballs, Kellyanne.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: No, they're not, nor should they. I mean, look at just last night, Anderson Cooper in this town hall in Wisconsin. He was tough but never rude. I mean, if you want to be commander in chief and president of the United States, president of the free world, you're going to be asked tough questions.
But I have to just say as a pro-lifer with many pro-life candidates who are very disappointed, pro-life causes are very disappointed today. They don't need four or five times to get it right. They would have gotten it right the first time.
Because the pro-life community is one mind on this. You do not punish the woman. She is looked upon as a victim. There are two victims if you're a pro-lifer, there are two victims, the woman and her unborn child. They are of a single mind. They came out very strongly today, and many of them feel like their work over many years, if not decades, was upended. And the attempt by Cecile Richards on Twitter today, through Planned Parenthood by Hillary Clinton earlier is disingenuous to say that this is how they all feel. That is completely false. And so I think that it does not take four or five times.
And let's be honest, Kayleigh. Mr. Trump has gotten $2 billion worth of free earned media coverage so far, according to The Washington Post analysis recently. So, if you live by the media questions, sometimes you have to die by the media questions and sometimes it's not just a good day for the home team. [CNN, CNN Tonight, 3/30/16]