Kellyanne Conway praised President Donald Trump as a champion of women in her speech to the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night –without mentioning she was leaving the White House to spend time with her family.
‘For decades, he has elevated women to senior positions in business and in government. He confides in and consults us, respects our opinions, and insists that we are on equal footing with the men,’ she said of Trump, who has seen his approval rating fall among women amid their concerns about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and racial tensions in the country.
She discussed her own work for the president, including being the first woman to run a major party candidate’s presidential campaign.
‘President Trump helped me shatter a barrier in the world of politics by empowering me to manage his campaign to its successful conclusion. With the help of millions of Americans, our team defied the critics, questionable polls and conventional wisdom — and we won,’ she said.
She did not mention she’s leaving her role as counselor to the president at the end of the month after her 15-year-old daughter Claudia saw her social media posts criticizing her mother’s work for the administration go viral.
Kellyanne Conway praised President Donald Trump as a champion of women in her speech to the Republican National Committee
Kellyanne Conway – seen with President Trump on election night in 2016 – did not mention she is leaving the administration at the end of the month
Conway was one of several women touting the president’s support of their gender, including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and second lady Karen Pence.
Conway, who’s been at Trump’s side since he took the oath of office, announced on Sunday evening she was quitting the administration to spend time with her family, saying her children needed ‘less drama, more mama’.
Her 15-year-old daughter Claudia also has said was trying to get emancipated from her parents. Conway’s husband George Conway is stepping back from his role with a super PAC working against Trump’s re-election.
Kellyanne Conway has been one of Trump’s most visible advisers and a frequent defender of his on the TV airwaves, the place he appreciates it the most.
Her appearance at the convention will likely combine a defense of the president’s policies with an appeal to female voters to support him.
Always ready to spar with the media and quick with quip, Conway survived four White House chiefs of staff and numerous Cabinet secretaries.
She also was criticized for her fast-and-lose approach with the facts, which she famously labeled ‘alternative facts.’
Conway, who also managed Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, appeared unruffled during an appearance Monday at the unveiling of an art exhibit of student work tied to the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.
‘How am I doing? I’m good. I make my own choices,’ she told reporters.
Kellyanne Conway has been at the White House since President Trump took the oath of office; above she’s seen with the president and first lady Melania Trump in June 2019
Conway’s 15-year-old daughter Claudia has been an outspoken critic of President Trump on social media
During her remarks, Melania Trump painted her husband’s weaknesses as strengths when she argued for President Trump’s bid for a second term in a speech designed to appeal to female voters on Tuesday night – but also spoke at length on race and coronavirus, setting a strikingly different tone from her husband.
She painted herself as a wife and a mother during her 26-minute remarks, which outlined the reasons women should vote for President Trump in November and addressed the areas where female voters rate him as weak, the coronavirus pandemic and race relations.
And unusually she intervened directly in unfolding events, as violence flared for a second night in Kenosha, WI, in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, left paralyzed after being shot seven times in the back.
‘I urge people to come together in a civil manner so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals. I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice,’ she said.
Unlike Trump, she said of racial division: ‘Like many of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country. We are not proud of parts of our history.’
That set a tonal contrast to her husband, who clapped from the front row of the Rose Garden as she spoke, with her parents just behind him.
And she paid explicit tribute to the dead of the coronavirus pandemic – never using his ‘China virus’ phrase’ – saying she mourned with those left behind.
Her speech was meant to smooth away her husband’s rough edges even as she was careful to stay out of the political arena. It came on a night when Republicans tried to set a positive tone and lay claim to optimism, with Trump pardoning a black bank robber and swearing in five new Americans, both in the White House, while Mike Pence presented a video from Abraham Lincoln’s childhood home with ordinary voters paying tribute to Trump.
But it also saw Tiffany and Eric Trump channel their father with his younger daughter making a rare public appearance to rail against big tech and the media claiming they try to ‘mentally enslave’ people to control what views they hear.
Melania Trump made the case for her husband’s second term in a speech designed to appeal to female voters when she addressed the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night
Melania Trump portrayed her husband’s blunt statements, which critics call cruel, as honesty and said it was needed for the country
The president leaned in to kiss his wife on the lips – but Melania appeared to dodge out of the way
A small crowd of supporters listened to the first lady give her remarks in the White House Rose Garden with President Trump in the front row
Melania Trump spoke for nearly 26 minutes on Tuesday night in her convention speech
‘Dad, let’s make Uncle Robert very proud this week,’ said Eric Trump in his convention speech, referencing his uncle the late Robert Trump, whose funeral service was held at the White House Friday
First daughter Tiffany Trump went after the media, tech giants and the education establishment in her Tuesday night Republican National Convention speech
What Melania Trump said about…
‘I urge people to come together in a civil manner, so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals. I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice, and never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin… while debate rages on about issues of race, let’s focus on the strides we have made and work together for a better tomorrow for everyone.’
‘AUTHENTIC’ DONALD TRUMP
‘We all know Donald Trump makes no secrets about how he feels about things. Total honesty is what we as citizens deserve from our president, whether you like it or not, you always know what he is thinking. And that is because he is an authentic person who loves this country and its people and wants to continue to make it better.’
THE AMERICAN DREAM
‘Growing up as a young child in Slovenia, which was under Communist rule at the time, I always heard about an amazing place called America, a land that stood for freedom and opportunity… my parents worked very hard to ensure our family could not only leave and prosper in America, but also contribute to a nation that allows for people to arrive with a dream and make it reality.’
DEMOCRATS AND THE MEDIA
‘No matter the amount of negative or false media headlines or attacks from the other side, Donald Trump has not and will not lose focus on you… despite the unprecedented attacks from the media and opposition he will not give up.’
‘Just like me, I know many of you watch how mean and manipulative social media can be. And just like me I’m sure many of you are looking for answers, how to talk to your children about the downside of technology and their relationships with their peers.’
‘Almost four years ago, we went into election day completely underestimated. Despite what is being said again this year, I know just as you do that Americans will go to the polls and vote on the behalf of their families, our economy, our national security and our children’s futures.’
The First Lady’s speech capped a night where the White House and executive power of the presidency took center stage at the second night of the Republican National Convention.
President Trump book-ended his convention with the trappings of the presidency, issuing a presidential pardon at the beginning, watching immigrants be made citizens in the middle, and ending on the South Lawn with the first lady speaking live from the Rose garden. At the same time Democrats cried foul saying he and his administration repeatedly broke the Hatch act, which bans using government property and employees to aid political campaigns.
Several administration officials participated in the convention on its second night, including economic adviser Larry Kudlow – the former CNBC host who introduced himself to people as ‘you know me from TV and radio’ – acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, outgoing senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross were spotted in the Rose Garden for Melania Trump’s remarks with several other guests – some who wore masks and some who did not.
Melania Trump was introduced in a flashy video that touted her Be Best campaign and was filled with images of her looking glamorous at state events and mom-like with her hugs to children. She walked down the colonnade to dramatic entrance music and a standing ovation, the camera moving ahead of her to trace her every move as she approached the Rose Garden.
Her speech – in contrast with other Trump family members who addressed the convention – showed the human side of the president.
She spoke of motherhood, even as she did not mention the Trumps’ 14-year-old son Barron by name, and said her husband was a man who won’t stop fighting for families.
‘To mothers and parents everywhere, you’re warriors. In my husband, you have a president who will not stop fighting for you and your family. I see how hard he works each day and night and despite the attacks from the media, he will not give up. In fact, if you tell him it cannot be done, he just worked harder,’ she said.
She also said the president was a man who supports her and has supported women by giving them high-ranking jobs in his administration.
‘Donald is a husband that supports me in all that I do. He has built an administration with unprecedented number of women in leadership roles and fostered an environment where the American people are always the priority. He welcomes different points of view and encourages thinking outside of the box,’ she said.
And she humbly asked voters to return the Trump family to the White House for another four years.
‘I know I speak for my husband and the family when we say we’re so grateful that you trusted him to be your president. We would be honored to serve this incredible country for four more years,’ she said.
READ KELLYANNE CONWAY’S FULL FAREWELL SPEECH TO THE RNC
One hundred years ago, courageous warriors helped women secure the right to vote. This has been a century worth celebrating, but also a reminder that our democracy is young and fragile. A woman in a leadership role still can seem novel.
Not so for President Trump. For decades, he has elevated women to senior positions in business and in government. He confides in and consults us, respects our opinions, and insists that we are on equal footing with the men. President Trump helped me shatter a barrier in the world of politics by empowering me to manage his campaign to its successful conclusion. With the help of millions of Americans, our team defied the critics, questionable polls and conventional wisdom — and we won.
For many of us, “women’s empowerment” is not a slogan. It comes not from strangers on social media or sanitized language in a corporate handbook. It comes from the everyday heroes who nurture us, who shape us, and who believe in us. I was raised in a household of all women. They were self-reliant and resilient. Their lives were not easy. Money was tight, but we had an abundance of what mattered most: family, faith, freedom.
I learned that in America, limited means does not make for limited dreams. The promise of America belongs to us all. This is a land of inventors and innovators, of entrepreneurs and educators, or pioneers and parents, all contributing to the success and the future of a great nation and her people.
These everyday heroes have a champion in President Trump.
The teacher who took the extra time to help students adjust to months of virtual learning. The nurse who finished a 12-hour shift and then took a brief break only to change her mask, gown and gloves to do it all over again. The small business owner striving to reopen after the lockdown was lifted, and then again after her store was vandalized and looted. The single mom with 2 kids, 2 jobs, 2 commutes and still no health insurance 10 years after she was fed an empty promise. The 96-year old veteran who improbably survived D-Day at Normandy only to face uncertainty at home about whether he can access quality, timely care.
President Trump and Vice President Pence have lifted Americans, provided them with dignity, opportunity and results. I have seen firsthand, many times the President comforting and encouraging a child who has lost a parent, a parent who has lost a child, a worker who lost his job, an adolescent who has lost her way to drugs. “Don’t lose hope” he has told them, assuring them that they are not alone, that we see them, we hear them and that we are here to help them.
There always will be people who have far more than us. Our responsibility is to focus on those who have far less than us. When President Trump asked me to coordinate the White House efforts on combatting the drug crisis, he said, “This is personal, Kellyanne. So many lives have been ruined by addiction and we’ll never even know it because people are ashamed to reach out for help, or they’re not sure who to turn to in their toughest hour.
Rather than look the other way, President Trump stared directly at this drug “crisis next door” and, through landmark, bipartisan legislation has helped secure historic investments in surveillance, interdiction, education, prevention, treatment and recovery. We have a long way to go, but the political inertia that cost lives and the silence and stigma that prevents people in need from coming forward is melting away.
This is the man I know and the President we need. He picks the toughest fights and tackles the most complex problems. He has stood by me, and he will stand up for you.
In honor of the women who empowered me and for the future of the children we all cherish, thank you and God bless you.