Donald Trump Campaign Shake-up Highlights Change of Staff, and the Candidate

With a contested convention looming, Trump seems to re-imagine his operatives.

ByABC News
April 20, 2016, 4:04 PM

— -- As he entered the lobby of his eponymous tower, Donald Trump basked in the glow of his New York victory, with the gilded trappings likely adding to that glow.

And while he was still the man whose rhetoric and bombast have made him the front-runner of the Republican race, on Tuesday night, flanked by supporters, speaking to hundreds of reporters, this Trump was different, much like the makeup of the people now guiding his campaign.

After thanking his team, Trump launched right into one of his less controversial talking points.

"Our jobs are being sucked out and they're being taken out of the country and we're not going to let it happen anymore. We're going to stop it,” he said.

PHOTO: Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters and media after winning the New York state primary on April 19, 2016 in New York.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters and media after winning the New York state primary on April 19, 2016 in New York.
John Moore/Getty Images

He -- for the moment, at least -- omitted one of his most popular catchphrases (“Lyin’ Ted”) and opted for the more measured “Senator Cruz.” And while Trump's nicknames for rival Gov. John Kasich never quite caught on, he referred to the Ohioan as "Governor John Kasich."

Missing, mostly, was the bravado, with Trump instead focusing on the system that he calls “rigged” and hammering down on how he will revive the economy.

The same might be said of efforts to rejuvenate his campaign, which is in the midst of a shake-up exemplified this week by the departure of field director Stuart Jolly, who had been charged with hiring volunteers and building ground operations ahead of state primaries.

What’s more, controversial campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski has seen his role and influence pulled back at the same time that, sources tell ABC News, convention manager Paul Manafort’s portfolio has expanded, hiring a slew of new operatives like Rick Wiley, former campaign manager for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former national political director for the Republican National Committee.

Manafort is also at the helm of all delegate operations, meeting Tuesday with House Republicans, and has begun beefing up statewide operations across the nation, hiring experienced state directors, like Tim Clark in California, and paid staffers who have worked in campaigns before.

Manafort told reporters that a new chapter in the Trump campaign saga is coming.

"We're in a different phase of the campaign,” he said Tuesday night. “And being in a different phase of the campaign requires different skills.”

He added, "We're in a phase where the end game requires winning smart, meaning we have to focus on not just winning the states, but what congressional districts we win and things like that. We're bringing that into the campaign."

And with the influx of new blood and experience comes a subtlety different Trump.

He hasn’t appeared on the Sunday shows for the past two weeks. His Twitter attacks have largely been toned down. He delivered a relatively short speech rather than holding a news conference, which had been his custom on other primary nights.

And while campaigning throughout New York, especially in cities like Buffalo that have been through economic slumps, Trump focused largely on jobs.

"Buffalo has been hammered by our trade policies. Few cities in America have taken a harder hit. We know that. I know that. I live, like I am here all of the time," he said, vowing to "bring jobs back to the United States."

Of course, there are also still signs of trademark Trump. He couldn't resist tweeting Tuesday night that Cruz is nothing but a spoiler:

And back on the trail today, the old Trump was back during a rally in Indianapolis, where the senator from Texas was "Lyin Ted" once more.