Donald Trump told Time Magazine that there are plenty of people telling him to soften his tone and change his hard-charging rhetoric, but he’s not really sure that’s going to work out.
He’d rather run his gruff primary campaign all over again, he said.
“I am now listening to people that are telling me to be easier, nicer, be softer. And you know, that’s O.K., and I’m doing that,” he told Time. “Personally, I don’t know if that’s what the country wants.”
Trump was a clear leader throughout the primary by dominating the news cycle. But in the race for the general election, he’s behind by double digits in states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where he once was projected to have more than a fighting chance.
“I got 14 million votes and won most of the states,” he told Time. “I’m liking the way I ran in the primaries better.”
But Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus is apparently not all that thrilled with Trump’s strategy thus far.
Citing two anonymous Republican officials, Time reported Priebus had been very clear in a conversation with Trump that internal polling shows him down and that the RNC planned to devote its time and money to down-ballot candidates if Trump didn’t clean up his act. Trump denied that conversation to Time, while Priebus didn’t comment.
Time’s story overall painted a picture of a Republican Party deeply frustrated with its nominee’s tendency to disregard the advice of others and follow his own unconventional path. For his part, Trump seems unfazed by the prospect of losing.
“All I can do is tell the truth,” Trump told Time. “If that does it, that’s great. And if that doesn’t do it, that’s fine too.”