Corey Lewandowski, fired as Trumps campaign manager on Monday, hints at plans to bulk up a campaign team outnumbered ten to one by Hillary Clintons
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski predicted in a speech on Tuesday night that the campaign would at least double the size of its staff in the next month, and said the Republican candidate would try to be the first to win New York since Ronald Reagan, according to a person who was present in the room.
Lewandowski, who was fired by Trump on Monday, told attendees of a fundraiser for the New York State Republican party that the Trump campaign would probably hire between 100-150 staffers in the next month, and would campaign in New York just like Ronald Reagan in 1984.
The Trump campaign has long planned to scale up for a general election but the statement from Lewandowski hints at the most concrete plans yet by the Republican candidate to bulk up his undersized campaign team.
Trump allies have grown increasingly concerned about the presumptive Republican nominees rather skeletal organization, which is outnumbered ten to one by the Clinton campaign. As one source familiar with the Trump campaign told the Guardian recently: You think we can really win a general election with 70 people?
However, Trumps campaign has drawn some skepticism over its stated intent to campaign in deep blue states like New York and Connecticut. Lewandowskis remarks, while acknowledging the difficulty of the electoral map, made clear that the presumptive Republican nominee was serious about his intent to campaign in what his strategists called steal states to Republican National Committee members in April.
Trump already brought on pollster John McLaughlin just to measure public opinion in his home state of New York. No Republican presidential candidate has won New York since Reagan, and Barack Obama won 63% of the vote in the Empire State in 2012.
Lewandowski, speaking at the New York Athletic Club to members of the state partys Empire Club, also bashed former presidential candidate Scott Walker for giving rehearsed speeches as well as other candidates who spoke broken Spanish, according to the person in the room, who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak frankly about Lewandowskis remarks. The event happened at the same time that Trump himself held a campaign fundraiser at a swanky restaurant in midtown.
In his remarks at the event, also attended by Trumps press secretary Hope Hicks as well as former New York gubernatorial candidate and avid Trump supporter Carl Paladino, Lewandowski praised conservative mega-donor Sheldon Adelson while apologizing to well-heeled attendees upset that the campaign was not returning their calls.
The former campaign manager also struck a few traditionally partisan notes, condemning Democrats for hating us and our way of life and railing at what he viewed as corrupt practices and conflicts of interest at the Clinton Foundation.
Lewandowski was fired by Trump on Monday, following clashes with both campaign strategist Paul Manafort as well as Trumps son-in-law Jared Kushner. Despite his role in guiding the real estate mogul to the Republican nomination, the hot-tempered Lewandowski had few allies left in Trumps inner circle and had alienated national Republicans. As he described himself at the event, Lewandowski was his own worst messenger.