Former President Trump could be the presidential nominee by the end of the year, according to Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s top advisers and his 2016 campaign manager.
In an interview Friday with CBS News, senior investigative correspondent Katherine Herridge asked whether Trump, who has indicated he plans to run again, would announce his candidacy after the midterm elections — by Thanksgiving — by Conway. replied, “Well, he would.”
“She’s as active in these midterm elections as anyone. It’s also important for Calculus, Katherine, because we have the most ironic, if not unprecedented, situation right now,” Conway said. “We have a president, a current president, whose party doesn’t really want him to campaign with them.”
“I think once those midterms are in place, President Trump can assess the timing of his announcement,” Conway continued. “I’ll tell you why he wants to run for president – Donald Trump wants his old job back.”
When, she said her advice to Trump was to wait a few months. Conway, the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign, served as a counselor to the former president for most of her term.
“My advice to the president privately is my advice to him publicly, which is, ‘If you want to announce, wait until right after midterm,'” she said this summer.
As she suggested in July, Conway reiterated her sentiment that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate who is currently dealing with a catastrophe, must wait to walk. Ending two terms as Florida’s governor, he said, would put DeSantis in a better position for a future presidential bid. “He has the skills, he has the temperament, he has the moxie, and he has the commitment to make it happen,” Conway told Herridge.
“Many of his generational peers must have been in the United States Senate,” Conway continued. “So if he’s running against Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Marco Rubio, let’s say Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton and others, Ron DeSantis, argue that you’ve been in the United States Senate, never in a minority party. “Sometimes there is a majority party inside, but what do you have to show for this? He has to answer those questions. He will say, I have been the governor of the third largest state. Look what I have done.”
She dismissed the notion that Trump and his political team are concerned about competing with DeSantis in 2024 — “I don’t think they are, no,” she said. “They’re friends, they’re allies. I think people want Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump to be two scorpions in a bottle.” She said, “They just aren’t.”
The interview with Conway airs Fridays on CBS News streaming.
Grace Kazarian contributed reporting.