Kellyanne Conway throws down the gauntlet to Paul Ryan
Donald Trump’s campaign manager challenged House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday not to dump her boss.
“I certainly hope Speaker Ryan keeps his word and his endorsement of Donald Trump,” Kellyanne Conway said on “CBS This Morning” -- an aspiration she delivered with a veiled threat.
“Speaker Ryan, of course, took to the stage in Wisconsin in his event and faced some boos from the crowd because those who were [there] expected to see Donald Trump," Conway added. "But we’re happy the speaker of the House has endorsed the nominee Donald Trump.”
Ryan, who will convene a call with House Republicans later Monday morning, has already discussed rescinding his lukewarm endorsement of the GOP nominee with his top advisers, though no decision has been made yet.
Ryan disinvited Trump from a campaign event in Wisconsin last weekend after a bombshell tape leaked to The Washington Post on Friday, revealing a braggadocious Trump in 2005 talking about attempting adultery and getting away with sexual assault because he’s famous.
The revelations of Trump’s extremely crude comments, caught on a video by a hot mic inside an “Access Hollywood” bus, has sparked an exodus from dozens of Republicans, many of whom have called for him to step down or pledged not to vote for him.
Conway argued that the defections show “many of them don't wanna support him and we’re gonna to take the case directly to the voters.” But she was also hopeful that Trump’s performance in Sunday’s second presidential debate would put a bandage on a damaging weekend, noting that she would welcome back the defections with open arms.
“I can tell you as the campaign manager, we certainly welcome them back, and we hope they saw on display last night somebody who’s willing to a take the case to Hillary Clinton,” she said. “If those members can live with giving the next three or four Supreme Court justices over to Hillary Clinton, they should think about that.”
Trump himself, though, has been less genial and optimistic. Trump said in multiple tweets over the weekend that he “WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE” and boasted “[t]remendous support (except for some Republican ‘leadership’).” He later predicted that “many self-righteous hypocrites” who have abandoned him in the wake of his sexually aggressive comments would see their poll numbers go down and lose their reelection bids.