Trump advisor Paul Manafort responds to critics over retooling – ‘changing the setting, not the candidate’

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At the Republican National Committee’s Spring meeting in March, newly hired Trump adviser Paul Manafort made some strategic statements behind closed doors that gave the Ted Cruz campaign an opening to criticize.

Regarding Trump, Manafort told the group, “When he’s sitting in a room, he’s talking business, he’s talking politics in a private room, it’s a different persona. When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose.”

The Cruz campaign was quick to jump on Manafort’s statements as an example of how Trump is supposedly being disingenuous. According to Cruz, the front-runner is “just trying to fool gullible voters” with his various campaign promises such as nominating conservative Supreme Court justices or building a wall between the US and Mexico.

In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Manafort went on the defensive against those who are twisting his words, particularly Cruz. “There’s the liar. … Cruz is trying to confuse the facts. He’s going to be mathematically eliminated this week.”

In saying that the comments were taken out of context, Manafort insisted he was referring to “changing the settings, not the candidate.”

In other words, making more serious policy speeches instead of holding so many large, non-scripted rallies.

It’s possible the candidate hasn’t gotten the memo yet. He still calls his rival “Lyin’ Ted.” On Saturday in Connecticut, Trump insisted he wasn’t toning anything down. “Being presidential is easy,” but apparently it’s boring.

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Scott Morefield

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