Hey, she tried, but not even Kellyanne Conway can control Donald Trump, an admission she low-key copped to on Twitter during the final debate of the 2016 election. The Republican nominee appeared relatively composed as he fielded questions from moderator Chris Wallace on the Supreme Court and abortion. It was while he sparred with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton that the gloves came off and the unpolished Trump prepared to strike. By quipping about "bad hombres," it was clear that Trump's campaign manager Conway had lost her candidate.
Trump ignored Wallace's request to move onto a different subject, instead pivoting to immigration, decrying Clinton's policies, then dusting off the incendiary rhetoric he first displayed during his campaign announcement in which he called Mexicans "rapists." Trump said:
I want to build a wall. We need the wall the border patrol, ICE, they all want the wall. We stopped the drugs, we shore up the border. One of my first acts will be to get all of the drug lords, all of the bad ones, we have some bad bad people in this country that have to go out. We're going to get them out. We're going to secure the border and once the border is secure at a later date, we will make its determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here that were going to get them out.
The topic of Trump's temperament has long been discussed over the course of his campaign and has even made it to the presidential debates. During the first debate, Trump claimed that his "strongest asset, maybe by far" was his politically minded disposition. His remark drew laughter from the audience at Hofstra University, a response similar to those laughing at Trump over his championing of women during the final debate at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
Conway has worked hard to reign in some of the more off-color statements Trump has made and get him to focus more on an issue-focused message dealing with policy and how he would approach leading the country as commander in chief. In an interview with the New Yorker, Conway said she empathizes with Trump's retaliatory nature yet wanted to hone that energy towards tackling a general election audience far different from the voters he was courting during the primaries.
Trump's statement on immigration isn't the only thing Conway's taken issue with over the course of Wednesday night's debate. In an interview with MSNBC, the GOP veteran and president of The Polling Company/WomenTrend broke with the Donald on accusations of voter fraud.
Conway believes that the election is being conducted legally.
It's convincing Trump that what's playing out is not a conspiracy that will take some work.