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

Go deeper

Updated Oct 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden has huge cash advantage over Trump as Election Day nears

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Del., on Monday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had $177.3 million in the bank at the end of September, per the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Why it matters: President Trump's re-election campaign reported having $63.1 million in the bank at the end of last month, as campaigning enters the final stretch ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

Obama: Trump emboldens people to be "cruel and divisive and racist"

Former President Barack Obama. Photo: ALEX EDELMAN / Getty Images

In his first campaign rally appearance on behalf of Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama urged Americans to vote, saying "we can't afford another four years" of a Trump presidency.

Why it matters via Axios' Hans Nichols: With less than two weeks until Election Day, Obama made his case for Biden in Pennsylvania, a state that Trump's campaign knows he needs to win.

Poll: Large majorities support Biden over Trump on major policy issues

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As Election Day gets closer, Joe Biden leads President Trump by sizable margins on the major issues of the day, according to a national poll by The New York Times and Siena College.

Why it matters: With only two weeks to go before election day, there's little time for Trump make up the gap between he and Biden on the issues voters care deeply about. These include a new multi-trillion dollar stimulus program, mandatory mask-wearing, and a $2 trillion renewable energy package. Voters are also now evenly split on who will better manage the economy — a blow to Trump as he's led on the issue for much of the campaign.

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