Trump says ‘I do regret’ some caustic campaign statements
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., August 18, 2016. REUTERS photoIn a highly uncharacteristic move aimed at resetting his struggling campaign, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said for the first time he regrets some of the caustic comments he has made that may have caused people pain.
Trump told a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, late Aug. 18: “Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that.”
He added: “And believe it or not, I regret it - and I do regret it - particularly where it may have caused personal pain.”
“Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues, but one thing, I can promise you this, I will always tell you the truth.”
It was a rare admission for Trump, who has said he prefers “not to regret anything.”
The New York billionaire’s multiple self-inflicted wounds of late have left him trailing in virtually every battleground state. One of the biggest missteps was clashing repeatedly with the parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq.
Critics accused him last week of inciting violence against his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in a remark about the right to bear arms, and media reports have swirled about a campaign in crisis and a candidate apparently incapable of reeling in crass remarks.
His remarks underscored the dire situation he finds himself in with just 80 days left until the election.
Clinton leads Trump 47 percent to 41.2 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average, following weeks of errors that have alienated establishment Republicans and seen his own supporters tear their hair out, AFP reported.
Trump’s new campaign manager said his expression of remorse for making offensive comments was of his own volition.
“It was not me,” Kellyanne Conway told ABC’s Good Morning America Aug. 19, saying the Republican nominee’s apology “was all Donald Trump,” the Associated Press reported.
She added that “perhaps he felt it before,” but he chose that moment to express them.
Conway was named Trump’s new campaign manager as part of a staff shakeup earlier this week.
Conway said, “I absolutely hope that this campaign pivots to substance,” saying that Trump is keen to take on rival Hillary Clinton on issues ranging from health care to national security.