Jul 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

New Trump campaign manager dismisses polls in first official statement

Donald Trump in the Rose Garden on July 14.
Trump in the Rose Garden on July 14. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump's new campaign manager Bill Stepien dismissed recent polls that show Joe Biden leading Trump by double digits, claiming in his first official statement in the job Thursday that similar polls "had the world convinced that Hillary Clinton would be elected in 2016."

The big picture: Stepien, who replaced Brad Parscale on Wednesday after a raft of polling showed Trump down badly both nationally and in swing states, said the campaign's new goal is to "expose Joe Biden as a hapless tool of the extreme left" and "contrast his failures with the undeniable successes of President Trump."

What he's saying: Stepien praised Parscale's time as manager, noting that he "built an unprecedentedly strong campaign based on data and technology."

  • He said the Trump campaign has "a better team, better voter information, a better ground game, better fundraising, and most importantly, a better candidate with a better record" than Biden's campaign.
  • "With 109 days left, our goal is clear — to win each day we have left until election day. If we win more days than Joe Biden wins, President Trump will be re-elected," Stepien said.
  • "The same media polls that had the world convinced that Hillary Clinton would be elected in 2016 are trying the same trick again in 2020.  It won’t work.”

Between the lines: With this statement, Stepien is doing three things, Axios' Margaret Talev notes:

  1. Asserting himself as an empowered campaign manager in the face of reports that Jared Kushner is really running the show
  2. Ensuring Parscale gets his due credit and that they can have a good working relationship after Trump sidelined him and elevated Stepien
  3. Signaling a tactical strategy of trying to paint an establishment Democrat as a leftist radical and win daily news cycles

Go deeper: Trump's summer shakeup shows he knows he's losing

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