Well, no one said it exactly like that. But Ted Cruz came close. Here are snippets from the AP report in the Daily Star this morning.
Standing in a conference room at a swanky South Florida hotel, Donald Trump’s chief adviser assured Republican insiders his boss was ready to tone down his over-the-top persona.
He’s been “projecting an image,” Paul Manafort told the GOP officials. “The part that he’s been playing is now evolving.”
South Carolina GOP chairman Matt Moore attended Manafort’s presentation in Florida, and emerged confident that Trump was prepared to make necessary changes. “He has an opportunity to reinvent himself as a more presidential front-runner for the party. And I hope he does that,” Moore said.
The credibility gap
But Trump’s critics, including rival Ted Cruz, tried to use Manafort’s assertion that he has simply been “playing a part” as an opportunity to undercut the front-runner’s core strength: that he’s authentic to a fault and says what he believes, regardless of the political repercussions.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Friday, Cruz said Trump’s advisers had “gone down and told Republican Party bosses that everything Donald has said on the campaign is just a show, he doesn’t believe any of it.”
What Trump should know
If you are out on a limb, don't saw off the limb.
Apparently he knows.
“I just don’t know if I want to do it yet,” Trump said Thursday as supporters roared with approval. Ever the entertainer, he said that acting more presidential would leave his audiences “bored,” and that instead of drawing thousands, “I’ll have 150 people.”
The comments by Trump and new aide Manafort underscore a central tension surging through the Republican front-runner’s campaign.
Even as he builds a more professional operation, the billionaire businessman appears — at least for now — unable or unwilling to dial back the free-wheeling brashness that has both energized his millions of supporters and turned off millions of other Americans.