Kellyanne Conway was up early spinning furiously for Donald Trump, whom she praised for resisting the temptation to trash his opponent’s marriage onstage during a presidential debate.
Trump’s campaign manager repeated President Barack Obama’s attack from the 2008 campaign, saying Hillary Clinton was willing to “say anything to get elected,” while she praised her boss for refraining from one particular personal attack.
“I’m glad that he was polite and a gentleman to her, particularly at the end, when he pulled the biggest punch of all,” Conway said.
She said Trump, who threatened to invite former Bill Clinton mistress Gennifer Flowers to sit in the front row of the debate, had decided at the last moment not to attack his Democratic rival over her husband’s infidelities.
“He certainly was prepared to,” Conway said. “It’s a split-second, spontaneous decision. He certainly could have, and it probably was on the minds of millions of voters at home, saying, ‘Wow, she’s going to challenge you on a comment you’ve made here or there about a woman, then goodness — why can’t you challenge her on her husband’s personal peccadillos.'”
Conway spun this thin thread into something like a silver lining after Clinton controlled the debate with her focused and prepared performance, frequently pulling Trump off message by questioning his business success and command of the issues.
“He decided not to, and he explained to America why that was,” she said. “He said, ‘I came here and I was prepared to do some rough talking about that, quote-unquote, but I see your husband here and your daughter, and I’m just not going to do what you’re doing in hundreds of millions of dollars in negative advertising is not nice.'”
Conway repeated this line of praise in each of her stops on the cable TV news circuit Tuesday morning, so that’s apparently the most positive takeaway she was able to salvage from Trump’s disastrous performance.
“I think that whole exchange will grow in importance over the next couple of days,” Conway said. “Women will like that.”
Kellyanne Conway: Donald Trump's decision not to bring up Bill Clinton's infidelities was a "split second" decision https://t.co/XNn3iY8Y3b
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 27, 2016