Pollster Kellyanne Conway, president of the pro-Ted Cruz Super PAC “Keep the Promise,” tells SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon on Breitbart News Daily her views on the results of the New York primary, where Cruz’s rival Donald Trump won a resounding victory.
“It was a big, big, big victory for Donald Trump, and congratulations to him,” Conway agreed. “There’s no other way to look at it.”
Conway said Trump achieved this victory by “staying put in New York” – a rare focus on a single state by the restless GOP front-runner. She also noted the differences between Trump’s victory in New York, and Ted Cruz’s win in his home state of Texas.
“You’ll remember early on, after the double-digit loss in Wisconsin, Trump immediately canceled trips to Wisconsin, trips to Nebraska,” she recalled. “He did something unusual for him, where he stayed put in one state, in one region – went to Pennsylvania a few times in there – but basically campaigned up and down his state.”
“He had a luxury no one else had when they won their home states,” Conway argued.
In Texas on Super Tuesday, there were 12 contests on the same day. They came right after all the February contests, and Rubio was still in the race, so Cruz got 44 percent there, but Rubio got 17 percent. So I think the discipline that Mr. Trump showed in staying in New York, and really campaigning in every corner of the state, and telling New Yorkers, “This is our turf, I’m with you, we can do this” – and at the same time, I think his message of this rigged system, corrupt, and bribing delegates, et cetera has really played to certain members of his constituency who like that fighting spirit as well.
“I think next Tuesday will be another great victory for Mr. Trump – and then he has to go face states like Indiana, which is the most evangelical state on the primary calendar in a matter of weeks, if not months,” she predicted. “Then we’ll keep heading west, to places like Nebraska, Washington, Oregon that are proportional, Montana, and then I think of course it all comes down to California, where long-suffering conservatives might meet their liberation.”
While conceding that she couldn’t co-ordinate with the Cruz campaign to answer strategy questions, given her status as the head of a Super PAC, Conway speculated that Cruz’s disappointing performance in New York could be attributed to a problem of “resource allocation” – in other words, insufficient manpower to recreate the intense ground game that has served him well in some other primaries. She also noted that Cruz was investing his personal time in collecting delegates in other states, while Trump was building up his dominant position in New York.
Conway said one of the big stories of the New York primary was Trump’s shift in “tone and demeanor,” noting that his “relatively short victory speech” was “very different from what we’ve seen on the stage at Mar-a-Lago after some of these contests.”
“That, in some ways, is an admission that he’s been hurt over the last month before New York, by some of the things that have been said. I think Donald Trump would have wrapped this nomination up a long time ago, had some things not been said and done in the intervening months,” she contended.
The other big New York story was humorously described by Conway as: “What the hell with John Kasich?”
“I live in New York, and he spent more time in New York than I have, the last several weeks,” she said, noting that Kasich’s effort in New York stretched back to the week before the Wisconsin primary. Given that intense focus, she argued that Kasich’s performance was disappointing.
“He should have been in the thirty percents,” she said, especially given Kasich’s insistence that polls portray him as the only Republican candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton – a “false prophecy,” in Conway’s view, because Kasich has been so thoroughly ignored by the public that he’s effectively a “generic alternative to Hillary Clinton” at this point.
“How could you have planted your flag in New York for the better part of three weeks, and come out of there with zero delegates?” she asked of Kasich. “You can’t make that your new Waterloo, so to speak, and come out with zero delegates, and say, ‘Aha! I showed you! I’m the real alternative to Donald Trump!’”
Conway derided Kasich’s Empire State campaign as “eating his way through New York” in a series of photo ops, instead of delivering substantive policy speeches.
“If John Kasich’s in the race, we still have the Establishment lurking around,” she said. “Who wants that? We thought they were all gone.”
Conway observed that if Trump cannot reach the 1,237 delegates needed to lock up the nomination, Ted Cruz will enter an open convention with eight or nine hundred delegates, won across a number of states, while Kasich will be lucky to have two hundred. In fact, as Bannon pointed out, as of this morning Kasich still has fewer delegates than Senator Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race weeks ago.
“If you want to take a trip, take something other than an ego trip,” she advised Kasich, who she said she respected for his achievements as governor of Ohio.
“This is not a pro-Cruz comment. It’s a pro-party, pro-movement comment,” she said to Kasich. “You’ve had your shot. Do the right thing – and by the way, go be the governor of Ohio, and help this party, once we get to Ohio. If there is an open, contested convention, be one of the leaders. It’s your state, it’s your city in Cleveland. Be one of the leaders, make sure the party heals, get a good nominee out there, and support that person.”
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00AM to 9:00AM EST.
You can listen to the full interview with Kellyanne Conway below: