The third and final presidential debate is not even over, and Donald Trump's campaign manager is publicly sharing her thoughts on it, in the form of a tweet we can safely assume is disappointment with how her candidate is performing.
"Bad hombres" = Trump being Trump
Trump's other answers = Conway-esque
— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 20, 2016
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway retweeted an analysis from The Washington Post's Robert Costa suggesting that Trump held himself together for the first 30 minutes or so of the debate — going blow for blow with Hillary Clinton on guns, the Supreme Court, abortion. Then he let loose with things like this:
— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) October 20, 2016
About Trump denying Russia’s involvement in hacking. https://t.co/lBQsGyXYmD
— Philip Bump (@pbump) October 20, 2016
Conway clearly feels the same way. In this case, her retweet is an endorsement. Implicit in that endorsement is that Trump is not doing what he needs to in this debate to a) expand his base b) stamp out the fires in campaign that he is biased against women and minorities, and doesn't have the temperament to be president.
Read between the lines, and it looks as though Conway isn't happy with her candidate right now, so unhappy she did something very rare in presidential campaigns and decided to, in a way, publicly criticize him.
As The Fix's Aaron Blake has pointed out, Conway has a tough job that has only gotten tougher as Trump makes increasingly eyebrow-raising statements, like claiming the election is rigged and suggests the women who accused him of sexual assault weren't attractive enough. Conway has spent the past 10 days or so defending a Trump that doesn't exist.
Conway told MSNBC on Wednesday that she doesn't “believe” there will be widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election and that, “absent overwhelming evidence that there is, it would not be for me to say that there is.”
Trump, though, has spent the better portion of recent days making the case that a “rigged” election could be stolen from him and that massive voter fraud does exist. He tweeted this just Monday:
Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2016
On Wednesday night, she seemed done trying to do even that.
UPDATE: By the end of the debate, Conway was back on message with this tweet, suggesting media bias against Trump.
Hearing privately from many reporters that Hillary had a "terrible night" & Trump had best debate. Hope this will make it into print, on air
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 20, 2016
And after the debate, she was back on TV at least trying to defend him: