Kellyanne Conway has some advice when it comes to the president's tweets.
“There may be some in your circle who say, 'I don't like the tone,” she told Republicans at Lincoln Days Saturday night. "Tell them Kellyanne said 'That's OK.'"
“You can complain to me, your friends, your co-workers about what offends you," she continued, "but you’re going to vote on what affects you, and there’s a big difference.”
The counselor to President Trump had a lot of lines like that as she closed out the Missouri GOP’ biggest event of the year, telling a roomful of Republicans at University Plaza her boss is hard at work on a lot of things affecting Americans and driving their votes in November.
She began with a quick status report: “In the past few months, we've had two Supreme Court justices, two new trade deals and two dead terrorists.”
Then she dug into questions from Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt as part of a “fireside chat.” He didn’t go especially easy on her, starting with a question about Trump’s support among women.
Yes, she said, Trump lost women to Hillary Clinton by 11 points in 2016.
But Conway said that was unchanged from 2012, when President Obama won a second term, even though Trump was up against the “queen bee herself.”
And she said Trump has a chance to improve this year, with women taking most of the new jobs added in his term and leading Democrats scaring them with calls to eliminate private health care coverage.
“Women are the chief health care officers of their household,” she said, “and when we think of health care, we don’t want one more Washington-speak argument about insurance.”
She then pivoted to Trump’s chances with people of color who usually go blue, noting unemployment rates for blacks and Asian Americans have hit record lows on his watch.
Conway said Trump is also reaching out through policy, signing into law criminal justice reforms expanding early release programs and easing “tough on crime” sentencing laws that fell hard on blacks.
She said the Opportunity Zone program aimed at offering tax breaks for people who invest in poor communities has also been a success.
“We're investing in distressed communities for the first time in decades, and the men and women in those areas can take advantage of these new opportunities,” she said.
It’s not clear to what extent that’s true. The program created in the 2017 tax cut bill has also been used to finance luxury projects in upscale areas that may have happened without the incentive.
Conway said plenty on the ballot will affect people, and Republicans need to get the word out.
“I know we all joke about the Green New Deal and Medicare for All and socialism, but it’s no laughing matter,” she said.
She alluded to Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, leading the Democratic primary race, and said: “This is a very important time for us to stand up, speak up, not give up and show up.”
If everyone in the room told 20 other people why they should vote Republican, it would make a big difference.
Even people who don’t love politics care about who runs the schools, what’s going to happen with health care and whether the county continues killing terrorists and supporting farmers, she said.
Despite those stakes, Conway didn't seem too nervous.
She said the Democrats trying to beat Trump are a "bunch of nobodies" who wanted to impeach him because they can't impeach his accomplishments.
"The best economy in my lifetime, you can't impeach that," she said. "I think people will put it all together."
Austin Huguelet is the News-Leader's politics reporter. Got something he should know? Call him at 417-403-8096 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.