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FILE - In this May 9, 2015 file photo, Kellyanne Conway speaks at the Freedom Summit, in Greenville, S.C. Republican Donald Trump announced a shakeup of his campaign leadership Wednesday, the latest sign of tumult in his bid for the White House as his poll numbers slip and only 82 days remain before the election. Trump promoted pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Kellyanne Conway to women: Judge Trump by his hiring record instead of his words


Kellyanne Conway to women: Judge Trump by his hiring record instead of his words

Kellyanne Conway doesn't think it's a big deal that she's the first woman to manage a Republican general election presidential campaign. And that's because her boss shares her view that promotions are about skill, not gender.

"Mr. Trump hired me because he sees me as somebody who's capable of doing the job that he wants done, and he also trusts me," she told Circa in an interview.  "He never once mentioned my gender to me, which I think really tells the tale of who he is as a person and as a businessman, and as a leader and as an employer."

"I would ask female voters to judge Donald Trump by his actions and not always his words," she added. "How does he treat women in the workplace? Who did he promote the first female presidential campaign manager to this position? What is his record with women in the workplace. How many women have been compensated and received benefits and promotions from this man because he believes in their abilities and their competence."

She argues proudly that Trump is a far better choice than Hillary Clinton and her "scandalabra" political machine.

Now that's not to say the gender issue doesn't come up at the dinner table with her own three young daughters, who want to know why their mom doesn't support the first woman ever to be nominated as a major party presidential candidate.

"My daughters know how I feel and when they ask 'mommy why wouldn't you support Hillary Clinton, if you're a woman and she's a woman, we're girls,'" she added.

"And I tell them, that although I respect Hillary Clinton's political career, that I'm all for a female president but not that female president, it's not a hypothetical, it's Hillary. So we may share our gender with someone but she may not share our vision or our values," she explains.

One way Trump will differentiate himself from Clinton in the final 70 days of the race is by debating Obamacare's impact on women, Conway said.

"We know many women in this country have great reluctance and hesitation in voting for Hillary Clinton for president," she said.

"I think we're going to earn those women votes through substance. We are going to say look, Obamacare has been a really raw deal for many people in this country but most predominately for females. Why? Because females are the chief health care officers of their households, we control two out of every three dollars that are spent in this country."

"We're also the vast majority of health care providers, we are 90 percent of nurses, plurality of the pharmacist and plurality of the medical students and 95 percent of the home health aides, a very big growing business. So, we're the consumers and the providers disproportionately. We are affected many different ways."

Team Trump is banking that Conway's tell-it-like-a mom approach to political issues will help grow the GOP nominee's appeal among women, Hispanics, and young voters. During a lengthy sit-down interview at Trump headquarters in New York City this week, Conway displayed how her pollster grasp of public sentiments influences her policy messaging, and the campaign's.

Immigration reform isn't about being harsh to illegal immigrants, it's about protecting American security and jobs, she argued. And yes, illegals already in this country, can be treated fairly if they are not criminals or terrorists, she added.

"I hope during the cycle that they'll view his immigration policies as being very pro-American worker, as being fair to everyone involved, fair to the 11 million plus illegal immigrants who are estimated to live among us, fair to those of us who want employers to be more involved and be more accountable ... fair to the millions of Americans who are out of work and who are looking for work who feel like they are competing for these jobs with perhaps people who work in China and Mexico but also with illegal immigrants in their own communities."

Conway shrugs off the media obsession with specific voting blocs.

"Our attitude toward all voters is that we don't put them into boxes based on their race and their gender, their age, and their income and their family status."

She thinks Trump's message of improving schools, jobs, access to small business capital and home ownership will prove far more important to Hispanic voters than the media currently credits. She says she saw it work herself during a recent meeting with Hispanic business executives.

"That was a very robust conversation and it touched upon immigration, but they also wanted to talk about Charter Schools and school choice, alternatives to our public school system. They raised the fact that home ownership is such an important measure in the Hispanic and Latino community in terms of their achievement of the American dream of what's important to them and the multi-generational members of the families who reside there," she explained.

"They talked about the fact that Hispanic and Latino small businesses are exploding in growth but they are having difficulty accessing capital in that small business and formation and expansion. And they also raised with him job security, the horrors of Obamacare are just not working for most Americans, including the Hispanic and Latino community," she added.

Her folksy policy breakdowns for the dinner table aside, don't mistake Conway's ferocity. She isn't afraid to hammer Clinton on the issue she think is most vulnerable: a lengthy history of pay-to-play politics She's even coined her own term for it.

The November election is "a referendum on the ever growing scandalabra that has been Bill and Hillary Clinton for decades," she said.

"So if you've already said you don't like her, you don't trust her why in the world would you make her president of the United States?" It's the question Conway hopes will turn the election.

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