Campaign manager on Trump's "art of the comeback" after $1B loss

Donald Trump has made no apologies for declaring a nearly $1 billion loss on his 1995 tax returns, allowing him to possibly avoid paying federal taxes for 18 years. And his campaign manager isn’t sorry about it either.

She calls it “the art of the comeback.”  

Hillary Clinton blasted Trump over the revelations from his 1995 tax returns, saying, “His campaign was bragging that it makes him a genius. But what kind of genius loses $1 billion in a single year?”

“That from a woman who’s never created a job, never signed a front of a paycheck for anyone,” Kellyanne Conway responded on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday. “This provision of the tax code has been around since 1918…  and the year that Donald Trump accessed that particular provision, 1995, the IRS reports that half a million people went ahead and did the same thing. So this is what happens when businesses lose money -- they carry it forward. And in the case of Donald Trump, you reinvest, you create jobs.”

“How did he lose the billion dollars?” co-host Charlie Rose asked.

“Well, we don’t know that, but at the time, you remember real estate in 1995 leveraged companies. But the fact is, what did he do? In other words, the art of the comeback, and this nation can certainly use a comeback now,” Conway said.

“How did he come back after losing a billion dollars? Using the tax code as well as investing in new businesses?” Rose pressed on.

“He certainly has. As you look around New York and other cities, but particular here, and you see the fruits of Donald Trump’s business acumen, what he did in carrying forward that loss.”

Conway also went on to say that Trump has paid “hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes over decades,” including excise taxes, federal payroll, city, state, local, real estate and property taxes.

“But you didn’t say income taxes,” co-host Norah O’Donnell pointed out.

“Well he certainly has, in the years that he made a profit, like anybody else, he paid income taxes,” Conway responded.

The fallout from his 1995 tax returns poses a new challenge to Trump, who has fallen behind Clinton in polls after a disappointing first debate performance. A new CBS news poll reveals that 36 percent of Americans now think worse of the GOP nominee.

“And I’m struck also by the numbers you have up there where half of the people said it had no effect on their opinion of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. That was pretty surprising given all the ’rah-rah’ for Hillary Clinton since the debate,” Conway said.

Conway said she is optimistic for the next town-hall style presidential debate, a format she called “very beneficial to Mr. Trump.”

“He’s out every day with voters in a similar form… He engages with voters every day, it’s very natural for him to do that,” Conway said.

When asked if voters should expect any changes in Trump’s performance in the second presidential debate, Conway said she hopes the GOP nominee will bring up Obamacare, saying Clinton “has to defend both her record and any of the failing and shortcomings of the Obama administration.”

Looking forward to the only vice presidential debate Tuesday night, Conway said voters could also expect Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, to put on a “fiery performance” and question Hillary Clinton’s record.

“People look at Mike Pence as very low-key, and he is. He’s a perfect gentleman…  but at the same time, he’s there to play,” Conway said. “I think you’ll see in Mike Pence somebody who is able to defend Donald Trump the running mate, but at the same time, take the case right to Hillary Clinton.”