The fiery anti-immigration speech Donald Trump delivered Wednesday night in Arizona was intended to shore up support among the white male voters that have already embraced him, his former campaign manager explained.
“Look, I think Donald Trump’s message tonight was the message that he started with back on June of 2015, which was ‘America First,’” Corey Lewandowski, who still receives a severance from the Trump campaign, said on CNN. “That’s what he believes, and what he is playing to — and if you look at the polling data, he’s got about an 18-point lead in the demographic of white males who are voting in this election.”
“They have a high propensity of voting, and so he’s got about an 18-point lead on Hillary Clinton in that particular demographic,” he went on. “This speech is clearly geared at those individuals right now, to make sure they are there, he has locked them in for the election.”
After a confusing few weeks in which Trump tested out some kinder rhetoric towards Mexican immigrants, assembled a National Hispanic Advisory Council and even traveled to Mexico for a friendly meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto, the Republican nominee returned to his “America First” roots in his speech in Phoenix. He insisted that Mexico would pay for a border wall, rejected any possibility of amnesty and claimed that many immigrants were criminals.
The red meat speech thrilled his base but did little to make amends with Latino voters who have overwhelmingly opposed his candidacy. One member of his Hispanic Advisory Council even resigned following his address.
Lewandowski noted that Trump did need to “expand” his appeal if he hoped to win the election. Hillary Clinton leads Trump in the polls among women, the college educated, Latinos and African Americans.
h/t Think Progress