under fire on many fronts, expands campaign team
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[April 08, 2016]
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump, under
pressure to show a more presidential image, elevated a top adviser on
Thursday and said he planned to hire additional staff to prepare for the
possibility of a long fight for the Republican nomination.
The developments came as Trump tries to rebound from a loss in
Wisconsin on Tuesday to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a defeat
that punctured the billionaire businessman's aura of inevitability
and made it more likely the nominee will be picked in a floor fight
at the Republican National Convention in July.
The Republican front-runner's stumble in Wisconsin exposed a variety
of weaknesses. Trump alienated many female Republican voters by
saying that women who have an abortion if the procedure were banned
should be punished, a position he later backtracked on.
He also appeared to have been outmaneuvered in the scramble for
delegates in Louisiana. Although Trump beat Cruz in that state on
March 5, Cruz may end up with more delegates from Louisiana than
Trump announced that he has assigned all functions related to the
nomination process to veteran political operative Paul Manafort, who
was hired to manage the process of corralling delegates who will
pick the nominee.
"The nomination process has reached a point that requires someone
familiar with the complexities involved in the final stages," Trump
Trump also canceled plans for a campaign swing through California in
coming days in order to concentrate on New York, which has suddenly
emerged as a must-win state for him on April 19. He has a big lead
in his home state.
A Trump campaign statement said that he will add to his team as the
Republican National Convention nears and that he would announce new
hires in the weeks ahead.
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The expansion of Trump's campaign means his team will grow beyond
the close-knit group of advisers who have been at his side since he
jumped into the presidential race last June. Trump said he plans to
open a Washington office next week.
While there has been speculation that Trump might make Manafort his
campaign manager, the candidate's statement made clear that current
campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and deputy manager Michael
Glassner would remain in their positions.
Lewandowski has been charged with simple battery for grabbing a
reporter who tried to ask Trump a question in Florida a month ago.
Trump, famously loyal to people he trusts, has rejected calls that
he fire Lewandowski.
(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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