White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway spoke to The Daily Signal’s Genevieve Wood on Friday. Here’s a transcript, and video of their conversation.
Wood: Hi everyone, I am Genevieve Wood, welcome to Daily Signal’s Facebook live. I don’t think I need to introduce this woman next to me, Kellyanne Conway. Hi, Kellyanne.
Conway: It’s good to see you, Genevieve.
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Wood: So you just spoke to a group here at The Heritage Foundation, NEW, The Network for Enlightened Women. Why is it important to reach out and talk to these young conservative women?
Conway: I’m so proud of these young conservative women for taking these messages right to the campus and engaging in public policy the way they do. I know it is very difficult sometimes to be a conservative woman nearly anywhere but certainly on our campuses. It’s very important for them to show that diversity comes in all forms.
There is diversity of thought, ideological and political diversity, and that they, whether they are fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, national security types, they should go and recognize the best way to bring in new ambassadors to this movement, if you will, is for people to see them and say, “you know,” that peer to peer interaction is incredibly important.
Wood: You talked about just the importance of really speaking up because there is such pressure now to shut down, not just young people, but anybody who has a voice that says I’m a conservative, they want to be shut down.
Conway: And it’s too bad because as we saw in the election results, we saw in the special elections, there is a great market for conservative ideas obviously. And if people can stay focused on that and not give in to what I call this culture of sameness, it’s unbelievable how much people sound and talk and are the same these days politically and ideologically, in a way where just a different viewpoint getting into the conversation proves what a thriving democracy and what individual thought and self-governance truly is, Genevieve.
So I encourage these women, even when it’s difficult, there are more of them than they realize. You know, about a year ago I came up with the term “undercover Trump voter.” The undercover Trump supporter is still out there. It’s not that they are ashamed to say so, what they are is they just don’t want to argue with people on college campuses or within their own families, but if we can get them to feel more free to go out and speak and just to explain why they feel as they do, particularly on conservative issues, that’s a plus for everyone.
Wood: You talked about sameness, I don’t want to ask you all the same questions that you get day after day, by the same old same olds in the media, so what are you not being asked? What is the administration not being asked to talk about that they should be being asked about?
Conway: That is the key question, I even said on a network this morning that we are not, you are not covering all the great things that are happening that impact peoples’ lives. And so I think the media have a responsibility to be fair, but they also have a role to be complete.
The media can be the connective tissue between this White House and administration, Genevieve, and the people. In other words, let’s tell the veterans that under Donald Trump’s leadership they already have a brand new, first of its kind, hotline right into the White House, for anything they want to discuss or lodge as a grievance. They, as of today, will have the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. They very recently got the medical records modernization so that our veterans are seen seamlessly as the same patient, the same individual at the Department of Defense and VA, only the federal government would struggle for decades to do something as simple as just having technology speak to each other.
We are tackling the opioid addiction, which is the scourge of our time, no state has been spared, no demographic group has been untouched. There is a White House commission, there is Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius of HHS. The president has leaned all the way into this and we are making great strides. The job creation, the regulatory rollback.
The fact that just last week this president and his administration announced a 100 million-dollar program to support apprenticeships. And we are working with bipartisan governors all across this country, and employers, asking, “What counts as a skilled laborer who’s employable in 2017?” And that we are working with them so that we are dignifying all types of career choices, all types of jobs. You wouldn’t graduate high school and have a skills certificate along with your high school diploma to be a hair dresser, a plumber, a welder, a carpenter, terrific. That job will be waiting for you in most states.
Wood: You have been working in the conservative movement for a long time, Kellyanne and I have both been, (Conway: decades now for you and I) and we both look so young, but let me see, this is the second time you’ve been over to The Heritage Foundation this week speaking to different groups. How do you use the resources of Heritage, for people out there who aren’t familiar, how would you describe The Heritage Foundation?
Conway: Well, The Heritage Foundation has for decades been the gold standard. I really appreciate the research. I think having the facts and figures and having the information, the data, and even the anecdotes, the examples, Genevieve, is so key to connecting ourselves to the policy solutions and I know Heritage is a great resource to the men and women on Capitol Hill and has been for decades.
I think now with technology, our native tongue in this country, it is important that Heritage be the virtual, if you will, the digital connective tissue as well to people and information so that they can access it immediately and say, “Gosh, everyone is talking about this same thing today, could it really be true?” And going and getting that, the truth, the facts as they are seen through the conservative lens.
I also think Heritage has produced really peerless and fearless scholars over the years who are willing to take that out on the road, and work with our state-based think tanks and work with our state-based legislators and governors, that’s the key, because we as conservatives believe that a federal government that does less and that empowers the states to do more is a federal government that serves its people and it becomes less expansive and expensive, and intrusive and invasive.
So Heritage has been a great resource over any number of years and I like the fact that Heritage has stuck to its knitting, and not tried to do a million different things over the years, because those core skills, even as you have expanded your issue sets, and the many different ways you deliver the message and the facts and figures to Americans has expanded, it’s really important to all of us that you’ve stuck to national security, and economics, and education, and health care, and issues like that.
Wood: Kellyanne, final question for you, I know you have recently moved back to D.C., do you have any fun summer plans?
Conway: I do. My fun summer plans revolve around assimilating my children into the D.C. neighborhood and culture. Watching them enjoy their summer, I think that we will take, we are going to take a trip as a family, probably in August as many families do. There are two states left in the country that I’ve never visited, South Dakota and Montana, so we may actually take a family trip to those two great states and I’ll have, I turned 50 this year so it will be my 50 states at the age of 50. I think Heritage is more than 50 at this point, so we’re about that. So it’s all good, thank you.
Wood: Kellyanne, thank you very much. I know our audience loved hearing from you, thank you for talking with us.
Conway: Appreciate it.