Trump says he regrets offending people with how he speaks

2016-08-19 12:51
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (AP)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Charlotte - Donald Trump made a rare act of contrition on Thursday, saying he regretted offending people with his harsh way of speaking.

The Republican nominee made the gesture at his first rally since ordering a shakeup in his campaign to save his struggling White House bid.

"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," Trump told a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it," he said, drawing laughs and applause from the crowd. "I do regret it. Particularly where it may have caused personal pain."

He added: "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."

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.

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.

Campaign staff shakeup

On Wednesday, Trump appointed right-wing news executive Stephen Bannon as campaign CEO and promoted pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager.

The change was seen as a demotion for campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has been pushing Trump to, among other changes, use a teleprompter when he gives speeches as a way to stay on message - and not ad-lib himself into saying something offensive or wrong.

Bannon's Breitbart News website is virulently anti-Clinton and his appointment was seen as Trump's way of thumbing his nose at Republican leaders who have been urging him to tone down the shoot-from-the-hip style of speech he used effectively in the primaries.

On Thursday, Trump did speak with a teleprompter and veered from the invisible screens only to hammer away at a given point he wanted to make.

On substantive issues, he reached out to US minorities, in particular blacks.

"Nearly four in ten African-American children are living in poverty. I will not rest until children of every colour in this country are fully included in the American Dream," Trump said.

"If African-American voters give Donald Trump a chance by giving me their vote, the result for them will be amazing," he said.

And he began his speech with a message to the people of Louisiana, a state that has been hit with historic flooding in recent days.

"We are one country, one people, and we will have together one great future," Trump told the crowd.

‘New Trump’ gains traction

He still stressed his standard campaign pillars of building a wall along the border with Mexico, keeping out undocumented foreigners and opposing international trade accords.

And he also depicted himself as an agent of change compared to Clinton, whom he dismissed as an old-fashioned Washington insider, while promising to strengthen US ethics rules to fight influence peddling.

Following the speech, Democrats scoffed at the idea of a more tolerant and consensus-oriented Trump.

"That apology tonight is simply a well-written phrase until he tells us which of his many offensive, bullying and divisive comments he regrets - and changes his tune altogether," said Christina Reynolds, a Clinton campaign spokeswoman.

But the "new" Trump - disciplined and serious - was already gaining traction with fans.

"I loved the tone," said Annette Fitch, 55, a customer service representative who was at the speech.

But another supporter, 71-year old high school Principal Hans Peter Plotseneder, said he regretted the candidate had lost "a little bit of personal touch."

"I hope he doesn't get too PC," he said.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.