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Trump chief: ‘You’ll see a real different guy’

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives at a rally, Thursday, April 21, 2016, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. » His general-election appeal in question, Donald Trump’s senior team is promising anxious Republicans that voters will see “a real different guy” soon after the GOP front-runner claims his party’s presidential nomination.

“When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose,” Paul Manafort, who is leading Trump’s primary election strategy, told Republican National Committee members in a private briefing late Thursday. The Associated Press obtained a recording of the discussion.

“You’ll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You’ll see a real different guy,” Manafort said.

“He gets it,” Manafort said of Trump’s need to moderate his brash personality. “The part that he’s been playing is evolving into the part that now you’ve been expecting, but he wasn’t ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase. The negatives will come down. The image is going to change.”

The message is part of the campaign’s intensifying effort to convince party leaders that Trump will help deliver big electoral gains this fall, despite his contentious ways. Yet it also opens him up to questions about his authenticity.

Republican rival Ted Cruz seized on the remarks in a radio interview late Thursday.

“I’m actually going to give Trump a little bit of credit here. He’s being candid. He’s telling us he’s lying to us,” Cruz told host Mark Levin. “You look at what his campaign manager says, is that this is just an act. This is just a show.”

The Texas senator continued: “When Donald talks about building a wall, when Donald talks about enforcing immigration laws, when Donald talks about, I guess, anything, that it’s all an act, a show.”

The Republican National Committee gathered at a seaside resort in south Florida for its annual spring meeting. While candidates in both parties targeted primary contests in the Northeast, Hollywood’s Diplomat Resort & Spa turned into a palm-treed political battleground.

Senior advisers for Trump, Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich courted RNC members in a series of private meetings on the resort’s grounds, sometimes sitting at adjacent tables in the marble-floored lobby. Trump’s tightening grasp of his party’s presidential nomination dominated much of the hallway discussion.

“He’s trying to moderate. He’s getting better,” said Ben Carson, a Trump ally who was part of the GOP’s front-runner’s RNC outreach team.

Despite his team’s aggressive message, Trump was telling voters he wasn’t quite ready to act presidential. “I just don’t know if I want to do it yet,” he said during a raucous rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that was frequently interrupted by protesters.

“At some point, I’m going to be so presidential that you people will be so bored,” he said, predicting that the size of his crowds would dwindle if he dialed back his rhetoric.

Trump’s team also signaled to RNC members that he was willing to dip into his personal fortune to fund his presidential bid, in addition to helping the national committee raise money, a promise that came as Trump prepared to launch his first big television advertising campaign in a month.

His campaign reserved about $2 million worth of air time in soon-to-vote Pennsylvania and Indiana, advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG shows.

“He’s willing to spend what is necessary to finish this out. That’s a big statement from him,” Manafort said in the briefing.

Manafort also insisted that Trump is prepared to work closely with party leaders, despite the candidate’s near-daily public attacks on what he calls “a rigged” presidential nomination system.

“Is Donald Trump running against the Republican National Committee? The answer is he is not,” Manafort said.

Trump is increasingly optimistic about his chances in five states holding primary contests Tuesday: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. He is now the only candidate who can possibly collect the 1,237-delegate majority needed to claim the GOP nomination before the party’s July convention.

Cruz and Kasich hope Trump will fall short so that they can have a chance to turn enough delegates to win the nomination at the convention.

Associated Press writer Alan Fram in Hollywood and Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

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      • Almost exclusively on demographics, the Rs are not going to win, and that is based on quantitative numbers and data, the country has changed, and unless you can expand the tent to include, women with college degrees, voters under 35 and communities of color, well, the Rs will never take the White House, for the next 2-3 decades.

        In both 2008 and 2012, Republicans’ best group by far — of the five we examined — was white voters without college degrees. The GOP carried that group by 14 percentage points in 2008 and a whopping 26 points in 2012. However, these voters — who skew older and more rural — decline 3 percentage points every four years as a share of the overall electorate. In contrast, white degree-holders — who still lean Republican but are much likelier to support Democrats than whites without a degree — rise a percentage point every four years.

        In other words, Democrats’ coalition of non-white, young and well-educated voters continues to expand every election, while Republicans’ coalition of white, older and less-educated voters keeps shrinking. It’s no wonder that some pundits have suggested Democrats have an emerging “stranglehold on the Electoral College” because of favorable trends in states like Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia, right?

        It’s true that if every demographic group were to carry its 2012 levels of turnout and party support into 2016, Democrats’ lead in the national popular vote would expand from 3.9 percentage points to 5.1 points based on population trends alone. But, as FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver and others have argued, Democrats’ advantage in the Electoral College is much more tenuous than it’s often portrayed.

      • Iwandcah, agreed. Admitting that Donald Trump is a different person than what he has campaigned ended his seeking being the GOP Presidential candidate. How stupid is stupid? Yep, we know Donald Trump for the past 30 years and he can’t change.

    • noheawill–it’s going to be an interesting race to the WH. Polls show overwhelmingly that people don’t trust Hillary–a report that just came out shows the multi-millions she made in speeches came primarily from firms that lobby the government for contracts. Clooney and Bernie are right the amount of money in the campaign is obscene–and look where she gets it from?? Trump–yeah–does he lie?? Heck yes, but just look at the campaign promises Obama gave us–lies?? You bet! Politicians are in it for the prestige, money??? At least Trump doesn’t need that–will be “Make America Great Again” I’d like to give him a chance.

      • Serious, most polls say that a majority of people hate Trump much more than they hate Hillary and don’t feel he is they type of person they want as president. You’re going to tell me that Trump isn’t in it for the prestige? It’s all about prestige for Trump. A majority of us don’t think Trump can make America great and will actually divide the country if elected.

  • People need to remember the real Trump, the loud-mouthed, demagogue, racist, bully who has no regard for the constitution. What scares me is that people have short political memories and are, therefore, easily fooled by a slimy character like Trump.

  • Like many Rs before him, the Donald will now try, the impossible contortion, of tacking back to the more centrist middle. What data and polling has shown for the last 10 or so Presidential elections, is despite all the partisan ideology, ALL elections are won between the 47-53 band of the electorate.

    Now, when you couple the bombastic and bellicosity of this totally unmeasured and unprepared Donald with contemporary demographic trends, what you have is a candidate not just losing, but losing by a profound and potentially historic margin. Don’t take my word, every credible data/pollster gurus, from Nate Silver to Larry Sabato, predicts a Clinton landslide.

    Nate Silver’s electoral map prediction is the stuff of nightmares for the GOP. The poll-whisperer shared a map, based on current polling, of a general election held today between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and—spoiler!—it’s not close.

    Never mind key swing states like Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. The Republicans are in jeopardy of losing states like North Carolina, Arizona, and even Georgia if these numbers hold. All told, the margin of victory could exceed that of President Obama’s sweeping 2008 win over John McCain. Hahahah Rs, to boot, you are also going to lose the US Senate as well, as they are defending 34 seats, and historically, no have ever successfully defended such a large amount of seats…..kick rocks Rs!!!!

  • I like to see Hillary get indicted for what she has done..she is so corrupt and owned by big businesses….look at the contributions….$$$$ to her campaign does not lie…..WAKE UP USA!!!!

    • I hope she is exposed to all those contributors. The one thing that I hope she does not expose is her big fat arse. Her attire is always an overcoat to hide that monster.

    • And you think Trump is any better? And why hasn’t Hillary been indicted yet? Probably because they know they don’t have the proof to convict her and won’t indict her until they do.

  • So, he’s going to get serious now? The problem is for most people and other countries is, “who is the real Donald Trump?” Is he someone who puts on a different act every time the audience changes? Is he just putting on whatever act he thinks will pander to his audience or press people’s buttons? As far as I’m concerned, this disqualifies him to be President or to be elected to any office that could have an impact on our country. Our future is too precious to be put into the hands of an unpredictable and possibly unbalanced person. He is not fooling me.

  • Didn’t the GOP learn last election that pivoting in a manner that repudiates most of what did to earn a candidate their primary victory turns out poorly and labels the candidate as unreliable?

    Romney said anything to anyone to be President. Made him look untrustworthy and unreliable and honestly, more waffly (is that a word?) than Bill Clinton who enacted policy via poll.

    A candidate who will change positions and say anything to get a vote is rightfully cast as shady.

    But then again, so is a candidate who refuses to release speeches and has a political donor list that includes a huge number of current federal contractors….

    Vote Johnson. Not Hillary. Not Trump.

  • Yeah Donald ! You might wanna dispose of the Nicety after the election !!There will be nothing NICE when it comes to debating Hillary.When it gets to these Debate forums??there is nothing nice about it! Your’e going to need your full arsenal of telling the American people who Hillary truly is.

    More “Presidential”?of course! Sure at the same time don’t forget your message,the one that got all of this attention form the millions of voters across the “Good Ole USA”… You can do this Donald. Go Mr.Trump!!And? let’s make America Great Again”.IMUA

    • America is already great. Trump will only bring down America. He is already dividing the country with what he says now, it will probably get worse if he is ever elected.

  • You mean him acting like an immature, condescending, berating, lying person was just was an image projection? The only way he is going to change his image is if he tapes his mouth shut. I seriously doubt he will change his tune, especially against Hillary. I have never seen a politician divide the country as much as I see with Trump.

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