NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - Republican nominee Donald Trump has shaken up his campaign staff again, this time bolstering influential Christians to high places, including a Catholic and a pro-lifer. Steve Bannon, Catholic chairman of Breitbart news, has been promoted to campaign chief, and Kellyanne Conway, an avid pro-lifer, has been promoted to campaign manager.
As of Wednesday, Trump is coming in at about five points behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but expects this recent adjustment will close the gap. Trump made a statement Tuesday after the appointments. "I want to win. That's why I'm bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win."
Stephen Bannon is chairman of Breitbart News and propelled the news outlet to more than 2 million followers on Facebook. "I come from a blue-collar, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats," says Bannon. "I wasn't political until I got into the service and saw how badly Jimmy Carter f---ed things up. I became a huge Reagan admirer. Still am."
Many pundits are worried that Bannon will go overboard. CNN labled him "an irreverent provocative media executive," but newly appointed campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said she "feels extremely comfortable with his style." In a CNN interview Conway spoke of Bannon, "The man is a brilliant tactician. He has a long history of girding for combat and being unafraid."
The 49-year-old Conway is founder of the Polling Company and has experience campaigning for pro-life politicians. As the first woman GOP campaign manager, she may help swing the female vote, as some polls show Trump has a 70-percent unfavorable rating with women.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton still leads Trump by 19 points among weekly churchgoing Catholics, mostly among Hispanics, even though she has spoken in favor of providing taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. Clinton's campaign manager recently commented on the hire, labeling Bannon's work "sometimes racist."