Kellyanne Conway, who served as former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign manager and top political consultant, is calling out Republican critics who say it is time to move on from the 45th commander-in-chief: ‘After you.’
“Anybody who wants the party to move on from Trump. I dare you, go first,” Conway said during an appearance on Fox News, responding to a conversation on “America’s Newsroom” about how Republicans are scrambling to refocus the conversation on President Joe Biden’s horrendous policies following the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago.
Senior network political analyst Brit Hume said there are concerns about the continued focus on Trump as well as the motivating effect he has on the Democratic base as well as “a large percentage” of swing-voting Independents, with even The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro warning that those voters could be lost during the upcoming midterms.
“There is a reason Democrats are eager to keep Trump at the center of the conversation: half of independents say Trump is a major factor in their vote, and they’re breaking 4-1 for the Democrats. Republicans shouldn’t play that game. If they do, they’re cruising for a bruising,” Shapiro wrote on Twitter.
There is a reason Democrats are eager to keep Trump at the center of the conversation: half of independents say Trump is a major factor in their vote, and they're breaking 4-1 for the Democrats. Republicans shouldn't play that game. If they do, they're cruising for a bruising.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 29, 2022
“Democrats: We don’t want to talk about Biden, the economy, our perversion of the education system, or Afghanistan. Let’s talk about Trump!” he noted in another tweet. “Republicans: GREAT IDEA!!!!!!! LET’S TALK ABOUT TRUMP!!!!!! But why are Republicans losing momentum? A mystery wrapped in an enigma.”
But Conway isn’t buying.
“I look at the Fox News poll Dana,” she said after co-host Dana Perino asked her about Shapiro’s viewpoint.
“The most recent one shows that Independents heavily aligned with the Republican Party on the following issues by the following margins,” Conway said, ticking off several issues where Independents are solidly in the GOP camp: On crime, border security, inflation, and the opioid crisis.
In addition, she noted that small percentages of Independents align with Biden on other issues like the climate and abortion.
“Look, Independents were some of the first to refuse to pledge their allegiance to Biden,” she said. “I think when you saw the erosion of his overall polling numbers, early on in his presidency, it was because Independents who had supported him were starting to migrate away from him.
“Dana, this is very simple for me,” she continued. “When Trump is the leader of the party, when he’s involved in the conversation, the election, in the 2018 midterms you had four pickups from blue to red, it was the first time since John Kennedy in 1962 that a president in power’s party picked up a single Senate seat in a midterm election and they picked up four…”
“The party in power has only done this four times since 1934 in the midterms and Trump was one of them in 2018, right after the very bruising, brutal, and fundamentally unfair battle over the Kavanaugh nomination that happened within a month of that election,” Conway continued.
“Those who want to move on from Trump, you go first. People are so obsessed with him, that they don’t spend a minute learning what the 74 million Trump-Pence voters want in these midterm elections,” the former advisor added. “That’s what I study every single day, but they’re so obsessed with Donald Trump. Anybody who wants the party to move on from Trump. I dare you, you go first.
“Any time the Democrats tell you which Republicans should be your nominee, run in the other direction because they know that they’re fixing to make that person unpalatable,” she concluded.