clock menu more-arrow no yes

Trump campaign chair: “we have a candidate who doesn’t need to figure out what’s going on”

Paul Manafort.
Paul Manafort.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Donald Trump doesn’t need to know what’s happening in the world to respond to it, according to his own campaign chair.

The comment, made by Trump’s newly promoted campaign chair Paul Manafort in passing during an interview on Meet the Press Saturday, was meant to speak to Trump’s strengths: The presumptive Republican nominee has ability to speak off the cuff, even when seemingly uninformed on the topic.

"And the good thing is we have a candidate who doesn’t need to figure out what’s going on in order to say what he wants to do," Manafort said, responding to Chuck Todd’s question on the Trump team’s preparedness for the general election campaign season.

The presumptive nominee’s most recent run-in with seemingly off-the-cuff remarks was during his visit to Scotland last week, during which he commended the British people for voting to leave the European Union, in a country that overwhelmingly voted to stay in the EU. Nonetheless, Trump, who was in Scotland for the grand opening of his golf course, spoke to the benefits his resort there will reap from the devalued British currency.

The Trump campaign likely wants people to think Trump is quick on his feet

Trump is known for his ad-libbed speeches; many of them have become the hallmarks of his campaign platform. But in recent weeks the campaign has worked hard to start looking prepared to take on Hillary Clinton in November. And Clinton takes pride in understanding policy details, to an almost comical degree.

But Manafort is signaling that the Trump campaign is serious about its general election pivot. Last Monday the campaign unexpectedly fired Corey Lewandowski, who served as Trump’s loyal campaign manager throughout the primary election. After a dismal Federal Election Commission filing showed the Trump camp had fundraised only $3 million in May – an amount disappointing even for a Senate campaign, let alone a presidential one – Trump’s team reported that it raised an additional $11 million in one week.

"Our campaign is getting organized," Manafort said on Meet the Press. "The campaign is a process. Our campaign is organized. We are ready, and we are confident we are not behind the Clinton campaign."

It comes as no surprise that Manafort is trying to frame Trump’s impromptu way of speaking as a testament to the nimbleness of the Republican candidate’s campaign to get ready for November. But whether the voters agree with him on that point remains to be seen.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.