Paul Manafort, the chairman of Donald Trump’s campaign, said his candidate would “soften” his stance on Muslims – the one that just a few months ago called for a temporary ban for security reasons on those of that faith entering America – as the weeks go by and time draws near for election day.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Manafort first assured Trump was going to win – “unless we, meaning people like me, screw it up,” he said.
“This is not a hard race,” Manafort said, adding that Trump cannot be “managed” and a smart campaign wouldn’t try.
“You don’t change Donald Trump,” he said. “You don’t ‘manage’ him.”
But part of the campaign’s upcoming strategy includes fine-tuning previously made platforms and statements, Manafort said,
And on one of his most controversial, the temporary ban on Muslims, Manafort hinted at a Trump softening.
“He’s already started moderating on that,” Manafort told the Huffington Post. “He operates by starting the conversation at the outer edges and then brings it back towards the middle. Within his comfort zone, he’ll soften it some more. He’ll still end up outside of the norm, but in line with what the American people are thinking.”
At the same time, some plans are non-negotiable, Manafort said.
“He is going to build a [border] wall,” he said. “That is a core thing with him. He will push it strongly and he will push for the immigration changes just as strongly.”
And as far as thoughts on the status of the Republican Party and its divisions over Trump go, Manafort had this to say, referencing the reported tearing at the GOP in the aftermath of Indiana: “That was all B.S. It was overblown. His negatives were going to drop when Republicans came home, and they are. The level of GOP support for Trump now is between 82 and 87 percent, and it is going to get to 90, 93. I’ve made three trips to the Hill and most of the people up there are getting with us, if they haven’t already. There are some Senate candidates who aren’t sure Trump is in their interest yet, but they’ll come along. The ‘never Trump’ movement was never going anywhere.”
Manafort also said it wasn’t likely for Trump to pick a female vice presidential candidate simply because she was a woman, because that would seem like “pandering,” he said.
“He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do,” he said. “He seems himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO. There is a long list of who that person could be and every one of them has major problems.”
He also promised the campaign would bring more of the same in terms of rallies and events at choice spots around the nation.
“We’ll continue the rallies,” he said. “That is Trump’s brand. We’ll do the broad themes at the big rallies. No one wants to change that.”