Technology Trumped at GOP Campaign Managers Forum

The subject of Trump, shown here at Saturday's Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Presidential Forum in Des Moines, dominated the conversation at a forum with GOP campaign managers. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Donald Trump took over the talk at a Republican campaign manager’s forum in Washington on Monday, just as he has through much of the Republican presidential campaign.

Although Google was hosting the event at its D.C. headquarters with YouTube and National Review, technology’s role in the race was rarely mentioned.

Chip Englander, Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign manager, said, “If you’re not engaging Trump, you risk completely falling out of the conversation.”

But, engaging Trump can be risky as well, Bobby Jindal’s campaign manager, Timmy Teepell, said.

“He’s able to use a megaphone when he responds.”

Trump was the most mentioned when the campaign managers said their opinion of the best moment another candidate has had.

Terry Sullivan, Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign manager, said he was most impressed by Sen. Ted Cruz inviting Trump to participate in a Sept. 9 rally outside the Capitol against the international nuclear agreement with Iran, which he called a "ballsy and smart" move.

“None of you people would have covered it otherwise,” Sullivan said to reporters.

Rick Santorum’s campaign manager, John Brabender, thought Trump made the best move when he pledged he would not run as a third party candidate.

“I think there was a shift two weeks ago in the Trump campaign, they actually believed they would win,” he said.

The relationship between Carly Fiorina and Trump was a talking point for both Englander and Jeb Bush’s campaign manager, Danny Diaz.

Both mentioned the way Fiorina at last week’s debate handled the remark Trump made about her appearance. Fiorina was asked to respond to Trump’s “look at that face” comment.  She said, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”

Diaz also discussed Bush’s pushback against Trump over the GOP front-runner’s criticism of George W. Bush that his brother kept the country safe.

“I think what the governor stated is obvious to any kind of objective person,” Diaz said.

The campaign managers also commented on news that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had dropped out of the race. Walker's campaign manager, Rick Wiley, was scheduled to participate but was a no-show.

Diaz said of the news, “It is surprising. … He’s a good man, for sure.”

Brabender called Walker a “very, very credible candidate.” He was then asked if he thought Trump could actually win.

“The oddity of what I have seen out there is incredible,” he said.

Rubio Campaign Manager on Walker Exit: It's About Money

GOP Debate: Fiorina's Breakout Performance at Trump's Expense Who's In and Who's Out: 2016 Presidential Candidates

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.