I spent the better part of the 2016 campaign season on the road. Well, not just on the road: On the road, in the air, on the ground, at the rallies, inside campaign offices, outside caucus sites, in town halls, around polling stations, backstage at TV studios — you get the point.
Running campaigns and advancing political causes was how I made my living. It was the industry I knew. The nouns might change, but the verbs always stay the same. Very little, I thought, could ever surprise me.
But as he’s done to so many throughout his career, Donald Trump proved me wrong.
It was more than his knack for presenting the right message at the exact right time. It went well beyond the skill he showed in merging Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul and TV star, with Donald Trump, the candidate for President of the United States who people could believe in.
The edge he had, above any candidate in American history, was drive. Never had I seen a fiercer, more aggressive campaigner.
I kid you not — I got more sleep in the final month before I agreed to manage the campaign than in the entire 18 months on the campaign trail with him. And he was never one to even think about slowing things down.
Actually, the one time I made the mistake of napping for 20 minutes on the plane between events, he was happy to remind me that if I couldn’t handle the job, I could be replaced.
Let me say this as clearly as I can — there is nothing that can stop this guy: New York real estate developers. City governments. Powerful politicians. International real estate developers. The Republican establishment. The Bush dynasty. The Democratic Party. The Clinton dynasty. News organizations. “Deep state” operatives. Big Tech. The “endless wars” lobby. Kim Jong-Un. ISIS. The World Trade Organization.
He’s a fighter. It’s his being, his essence — and nothing can change that.
And Saturday night, in his message from Walter Reed, he reminded us what being a fighter really means: “This is America. This is the United States. This is the greatest country in the world. This is the most powerful country in the world. I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe and just say, ‘Hey, whatever happens, happens.’ I can’t do that. We have to confront problems — as a leader you have to confront problems.”
It’s so simple when you think about it, but that’s really the message of Trump’s life and his presidency: Fight the good fight.
This was the spark that made people drive hundreds of miles to just catch a glimpse of the president at a rally. It’s the energy that made people, who hadn’t voted in 30 years, suddenly get to the polls.
If you don’t believe me, take a stroll past Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. See for yourself the hundreds of people standing outside in support of the president, showing their willingness to fight for him because he fights for them.
I had the privilege of speaking with the president on Saturday night. If I didn’t read the news, I wouldn’t have known the difference — he was the same Donald Trump I’ve spoken to thousands of times.
And while he is adding something new to the list of obstacles that can’t stop him, I’ll continue doing my part to ensure that America continues to have someone in the White House who fights for them in the years to come.
He’s a fighter, through and through — and soon enough, no one will ever be able to deny that again.
Corey R. Lewandowski is President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE’s former campaign manager and a senior adviser to the Trump-Pence 2020 campaign. He is a senior adviser to the Great America Committee, Vice President Mike Pence's political action committee. He is co-author with David Bossie of the books “Trump’s Enemies” and “Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.” Follow him on Twitter @CLewandowski_.