Conway touts Trump's 'drain the swamp' message, admits 'we are behind'

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump's campaign manager touted his calls to "drain the swamp" of Washington
  • Kellyanne Conway also defended his call for term limits

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump's campaign manager pitched Sunday his new call to "drain the swamp" of Washington, even as she admitted Donald Trump trails in the race about two weeks from Election Day.

"We are behind. She has some advantages," Kellyanne Conway said on NBC's "Meet the Press," adding that those advantages include that Clinton "has a former president, happens to be her husband, campaigning for her; the current president and first lady, vice president -- all much more popular than she can hope to be. And she's seen as the incumbent."
    Conway, while touting Trump's Gettysburg speech Saturday that proposed ethical reforms, also distanced herself from Trump's lengthy attack on women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.
    "He delivers his own speeches. This is his candidacy. He's the guy who's running for the White House, and he has the privilege to say what he wants," Conway told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" Sunday.
    "This lifetime ban on lobbying -- if you've worked in the White House, you can't lobby for foreign nations. That's sort of the big, ethical shower we're all going to need to take post-Hillary Clinton State Department," she said, touting portions of Trump's speech.
    Trump also proposed a series of reforms that include term limits of six years for House and Senate members.
    That would've meant Trump running mate Mike Pence would've been term-limited out of office halfway through his 12-year tenure representing Indiana.
    "He was definitely living in the swamp," Conway said of Pence, who led fiscal conservative fights like opposing the bank bailout pushed by his own party's President George W. Bush.
    "Mike Pence would agree with Donald Trump on that: When you're there for too long, you need that fresh blood and new perspective," Conway said. "I wish there were more members like Mike Pence. If there were, we wouldn't need to have the conversation."
    Conway also attacked Clinton over her family foundation's acceptance of foreign contributions -- but Tapper pointed out that those details are public because the Clinton Foundation has published lists of its donors, while Trump hasn't released his tax returns.
    Tapper said: "We have no idea what his ties are and where there might be moneyed interests and conflicts of interest because he won't disclose his tax returns."
    Conway responded: "Here's what we do know: We know that -- as he said yesterday in Gettysburg, Jake -- he used to be an insider. He's somebody who breathed rarefied air right up there with the Clintons and others, given his position, his power and his wealth and his great success as a businessman. And yet, that gives him the credibility and legitimacy to go and fight the system from the outside in. He knows how corrosive and corrupt it is."