The new book by New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters goes all the way back to the early days of President Donald Trump's foray into politics and how he was able to capture a Republican Party divided by their 2012 election failure.
"Insurgency" talks about how 2012 impacted Kellyanne Conway's way of spinning issues and the way that she was able to move Trump's history in the Democratic Party to appeal to the far-right base of the GOP.
"Compounding his difficulties with the religious right, Trump didn't know how to speak their language," the book said. "When he addressed more socially conservative audiences, aides often took extra care reminding him to be on his best behavior. 'No cursing . . . The local press will not cover cursing favorably.'"
When it comes to Trump's stance on abortion, Conway was able to help him shift the conversation to make it seem empathetic, a tactic she uses with her male candidates.
"As a way of making their opposition to abortion sound less judgmental and uncompassionate, Conway counseled them to talk about a personal experience — for instance, seeing the ultrasound of their unborn child for the first time. For years, Trump had been telling the story of 'a friend' whose wife he said had become unexpectedly pregnant. The couple was leaning toward an abortion but then changed their minds and ended up with a beautiful, talented child, Trump would say."
The problem, the book said, is that everyone assumed that Trump was talking about himself and one of his three marriages. There was then the matter of Trump's sister, a judge, he said he would appoint to the Supreme Court. She, too, is pro-choice.
After the post-mortem of the 2012 loss, Republicans said that they needed to be more moderate, but conservative Christians wanted the GOP to take a turn to the right. So, that's the route he took.