July 17, 2020
President Donald Trump announced a new campaign manager for his 2020 re-election effort on Wednesday, July 15—less than four months before voters head to the polls—in an effort to reset a campaign that has already been through multiple failed reboots, according to NBC News.
The announcement comes as the president lags further behind his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in most national polls.
It also comes as The Raw Story reports that Twitter users are speculating this week that Trump demoted Brad Parscale because he was caught “canoodling” with Trump “crush” and former White House staffer Hope Hicks.
Trump said in Facebook post, and later on Twitter after the cyberattack on the platform, that he was removing Parscale—and tapping deputy campaign manager Bill Stepien, a veteran Republican operative, to take over.
Stepien was campaign manager for both of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s gubernatorial runs and served as his deputy chief of staff, but he was fired in 2014 in the Bridgegate scandal that plagued Christie.
“Both were heavily involved in our historic 2016 win, and I look forward to having a big and very important second win together,” Trump said. “This one should be a lot easier as our poll numbers are rising fast, the economy is getting better, vaccines and therapeutics will soon be on the way, and Americans want safe streets and communities!”
Stepien was named deputy campaign manager in May in an effort to layer Parscale, who had been campaign manager for more than two years but had come under fire in the last few months for lagging poll numbers. He will keep his digital and data strategy duties, the campaign said.
Parscale had boasted that millions of tickets were sold for Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month, which brought lower-than-expected turnout and left the president fuming. His demotion comes as polls show Biden holding a double-digit lead nationally over Trump, with 70% of voters saying the country is on the wrong track.
In Stepien, NBC News notes, the campaign gets a much more analytical, traditional political operative. Before going over to the campaign, he served as the White House’s political director through the 2018 election cycle, during which he was responsible for having a granular, county-by-county understanding of the political landscape.
Research contact: @NBCNews