US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he has replaced his campaign manager Brad Parscale with Bill Stepien, amid recent polls showing he has fallen further behind presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“I am pleased to announce that Bill Stepien has been promoted to the role of Trump Campaign Manager,” Trump tweeted. “Brad Parscale, who has been with me for a very long time and has led our tremendous digital and data strategies, will remain in that role, while being a Senior Advisor to the campaign.”
To clarify the president’s seemingly ambiguous tweet, Fox News cited two top campaign officials as saying that “there are not two campaign managers,” and that Stepien, currently deputy campaign manager and a veteran GOP operative, will have total executive control after the promotion.
The personnel reshuffle came at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is still raging in the United States, crushing the national economy, and when racial discrimination showcased in brutal killings of African Americans by police has triggered sweeping protests not seen in decades.
Feeling the urgency to salvage his re-election bid, Trump resumed his rally on June 30 in the city of Tulsa, US state of Oklahoma, an event in which the actual number of participants fell far short of what the campaign boasted. The underwhelming rally amid the pandemic was largely blamed on Parscale, with whom Trump’s frustration has grown ever since, according to US media reports.
Meanwhile, Biden’s lead over Trump in the polls has widened to double digits. In two polls released on Wednesday, Biden was ahead of Trump by 15 percentage points in a Quinnipiac University poll, and retained an 11-percent edge in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Trump, who repeatedly denounced media polls as being biased against him, said in the Wednesday tweet that a victory in the 2020 election “should be a lot easier as our poll numbers are rising fast”.
Tasked with helping run Trump digital campaign ad in 2016, Parscale was tapped as the president’s 2020 campaign manager in February 2018. Stepien has involved himself in politics for years, previously working for former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and serving as Trump’s national field director in 2016. -Xinhua