MIAMI — Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, a longtime Republican pollster, admitted Sunday that her candidate is currently losing to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"We are behind," Conway said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Clinton, she said, "has some advantages, like $66 million in ad buys just in the month of September, thereby doubling her ad buys from August. Now, most of those ads are negative against Donald Trump — classic politics of personal destruction, cesspool kind of ads. And she has tremendous advantages: She has a former president, who happens to be her husband, campaigning for her. The current president and first lady, vice president, all much more popular than she can hope to be."
But Conway is still hopeful that Trump can be victorious by winning over undecided voters who don't like Clinton. Instead of pointing to polls, which Trump has said are rigged against him, Conway pointed to the enthusiasm that she seen on the campaign trail.
"Let me tell you something: You go out on the road with Donald Trump, this election doesn't feel over," Conway said on CNN's "State of the Union."
On "Fox News Sunday," Conway said Trump is focused on winning Florida, Ohio, Iowa, North Carolina and, possibly, Nevada, while protecting Arizona and Georgia, which are traditionally Republican states but have seen bursts of support for Clinton in polls.
On CNN, Conway would not say whether she had known ahead of time that Trump planned to use a major policy speech in Gettysburg, Pa., on Saturday to lash out at women who have accused him of sexual assault, calling them "liars" and threatening to sue them after the election.
"Well, I was there at the speech yesterday in Gettysburg . . ." Conway said, then pivoted to a description of the policy stances that were outlined in Trump's speech but were overshadowed by his defensive comments.
CNN's Jake Tapper again asked Conway whether she knew Trump would "spend 15 minutes railing against people accusing him of misdeeds, railing against the media."
"Well, he delivers his own speeches. This is his candidacy. He's the guy who is running for the White House, and he has the privilege to say what he wants," Conway said. She then accused CNN of giving Clinton questions for a town hall during the Democratic primaries ahead of time, a charge that Tapper denied.
On "Meet the Press," Conway said that Trump is "at his best when he sticks to the issues" but that he also defends himself against false accusations. She said Trump is waiting until after the election to sue the women involved because he's "busy winning the presidency." She also noted that his attack on his accusers was "a small piece of a 42-minute speech."
During the final presidential debate on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Conway retweeted a tweet from The Washington Post's Robert Costa that said: "'Bad hombres' = Trump being Trump. Trump's other answers = Conway-esque." When asked about the retweet on Sunday, Conway said she did not mean to be critical of Trump and was instead "literally gleeful" about his strong answer on abortion. She said some had misunderstood the tweet.
"I actually have a sense of humor that maybe some are lacking," Conway said.