(CNN) — Donald Trump offered a fatalistic assessment of his personal and political future on Thursday, saying he will not abandon the controversial style that fueled his ascent despite lagging poll numbers and a string of damaging controversies.
And if that means losing to Hillary Clinton in November, Trump told CNBC: “I’m going to have a very, very nice long vacation.”
Doubling down on his assertion Wednesday that President Barack Obama is “the founder of ISIS” and Clinton its “co-founder,” Trump rejected any suggestion he might tamp down his rhetoric as Election Day closes in.
“Look, all I do is tell the truth,” he said. “I’m a truth-teller. All I do is tell the truth, and if at the end of 90 days I’ve fallen short because I’m somewhat [not] politically correct even though I’m supposed to be the smart one and even though I’m supposed to have a lot of good ideas, it’s OK. I go back to a very good way of life. It’s not what I’m looking to do. I think we’re going to have a victory. But we’ll see.”
Presented with a series of bad swing state poll numbers and asked how he would “close that gap,” Trump cut off any talk of changing course.
His plan: “Just keep doing the same thing I’m doing right now and at the end, it’s either going to work or I’m going to, you know — I’m going to have a very, very nice, long vacation.”
The comments represent shift in tone from earlier this month, when Trump repeatedly warned supporters that the election could be stolen from them by a “rigged” vote.
“I’m afraid the election’s going to be rigged. I have to be honest,” Trump said during an August 1 rally in Ohio. The next day, he told Fox News: “We’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged.”
“I hope the Republicans are watching closely,” he said. “Or it’s going to be taken away from us.”