Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has made some significant changes in his campaign leadership amidst reports of a campaign in disarray and worsening poll numbers.
Senior advisor Kellyanne Conway is replacing Paul Manafort as Trump’s campaign manager and Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon has been brought on as the campaign’s chief executive according to the New York Times.
In a statement, Trump said “I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years. They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to win this election, and ultimately become President because our country cannot afford four more years of the failed Obama-Clinton policies which have endangered our financial and physical security.”
Manafort will stay on as campaign chair and pointed at the changes as an ‘expansion.’
“It is imperative we continue to expand our team with top-tier talent,” Manafort was quoted as saying in the statement. “Steve and Kellyanne are respected professionals who believe in Mr. Trump and his message and will undoubtedly help take the campaign to new levels of success.”
Trump said Tuesday that he wasn’t going to pivot and did not feel it necessary to change. The Washington Post reported that Trump respected Manafort, but felt “controlled” by people who barely knew him.
This may mean that Trump’s move to use written speeches, like the highly-successful law and order speech he gave in Wisconsin yesterday, could be temporary.
The campaign moves come as Trump’s poll numbers have continued to sink in key battleground states like North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida without which a victory would be impossible.