GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has made a lot of big moves this week, shaking up his campaign by hiring some new folks — like Breitbart’s Steve Bannon — and bringing on Kellyanne Conway as his campaign manager.
While lots of Trump supporters are excited about the changes and feel he’s gearing up for a big battle against Hillary Clinton, those in favor of the real estate mogul for president might be a little surprised to discover Conway wasn’t always all aboard the Trump train.
In fact, she was once dedicated to making Sen. Ted Cruz the Republican nominee.
TheBlaze reports, Prior to her high-level role with Trump’s campaign, GOP strategist and pollster Kellyanne Conway headed a super PAC dedicated to helping Trump’s Republican presidential rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. And as the Keep the Promise 1 PAC ran attack ads against Trump, Conway herself appeared on cable television to criticize the Manhattan real estate tycoon as well.
As seen in clips compiled by Media Matters, Conway praised anti-Trump messaging in March for getting better as it resulted in talks “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,’” Conway told CNN then as she said that Trump’s debates would be “fraught with peril.” In April, Conway contended on CNN that Trump was acting “fairly unpresidential” with his nickname of “Lyin’ Ted” for Cruz and jokes about how Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) eats his food.
In the same interview, she called for Trump to be more transparent and urged him to finally release his tax returns. (Trump has still not done so, claiming he cannot provide them due to an IRS audit.)
Furthermore, in a half dozen other interviews compiled by Media Matters, Conway slammed Trump for suggesting that women who had abortions should be punished, criticized him for levying “personal insults” at Cruz’s wife following a primary loss and contended that the Trump campaign was getting “cozy with the establishment” especially with the hire of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Conway also donated over $5,000 to Cruz’s presidential bid, as did her husband.
Having Conway on board may help bring over some of Cruz’s former supporters and other conservatives still unsure of whether or not they can support Trump in November.
At the same time, could her former support of Cruz alienate folks who’ve been backing The Donald from the get-go, especially given the heated history between the two candidates?
We’ll just have to see how it plays out.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Cantrell]