Trump restructured his Campaign Leadership Tuesday in a attempt to turn around his flagging Presidential bid.
The GOP Presidential nominee hired Steve Bannon, Executive Chairman of the conservative website Breitbart News, to be his Campaign CEO and named Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster and Trump Campaign Adviser, as his new Campaign Manager.
The shakeup followed a miserable month for the Trump Campaign, in which the nominee made a series of gaffes and the high-profile defections of prominent Republicans both contributed to a steep slide in the businessman’s poll numbers and approval ratings.
The addition of Bannon and Conway to the Campaign’s Leadership is widely seen as a demotion for Trump’s Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, a veteran GOP operative. Manafort assumed sole responsibility for Trump’s Campaign in July, after Trump fired longtime Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski.
Trump and Conway both confirmed to news outlets early Wednesday that Manafort would retain his title of Campaign Chairman, but they did not offer any details about what his role would be within the new Campaign structure.
“I want to win,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal late Tuesday. “That’s why I’m bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win.”
With fewer than 12 weeks to go in the 2016 Campaign, many of Trump’s aides and advisors in recent days acknowledged that a major change would be needed in order for him to remain competitive against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton through November.
During a speech Tuesday night in Wisconsin, Trump appeared to be trying to connect with Minority and Independent voters, tamping down his natural urge to attack his critics, exaggerate facts, and speak off the cuff.
As with many of Trump’s so-called “pivots,” however, this new, measured style is unlikely to last.
The hiring of Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker with no experience running a political campaign, was widely seen Wednesday as a sign that Trump intends to embrace the pugilistic, divisive style of campaigning that he believes won him the GOP nomination.
Known as a devil-may-care Conservative, Bannon’s populist and nationalist sympathies reflect his longstanding disgust with both major political parties. Like Trump, Bannon enjoys needling the political establishment.
“Bannon will play to Trump’s worst sensibilities,” said a former Trump aide who requested anonymity to discuss his former boss.
Trump decision to hire Bannon came after months of conversations with the News Executive. According to the Washington Post, Bannon urged the impulsive, angry Presidential nominee to ignore people who wanted him to tone it down.
The advice resonated with Trump, who has resisted calls to “pivot” throughout his Campaign. “I am who I am,” Trump said in an interview with a Wisconsin TV station Tuesday. “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.”
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