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Aug 19, 2016

NYT First Draft - August 19, 2016: Donald Trump Catches Critics by Surprise With One Word "Regret", by Maggie Haberman

Friday, August 19, 2016

The New York Times »

The New York Times

Friday, August 19, 2016

Donald J. Trump at a rally in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday.
Donald J. Trump at a rally in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday. Travis Dove for The New York Times
Donald Trump Catches Critics by Surprise With One Word: ‘Regret’
Donald J. Trump went Thursday night where Donald J. Trump, the candidate, seemed to have never gone before: He expressed broad regret about some of his caustic language during the campaign.
Precisely which words does Mr. Trump regret? He did not specify. But his speech in Charlotte, N.C., his third using a teleprompter this week, was praised by some of his critics as the best of his campaign.
“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,” Mr. Trump said. “I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues.”
Mr. Trump has prided himself on never acknowledging regret, even when he attacked the parents of a fallen American Muslim soldier after they criticized him at the Democratic National Convention. “But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth,” he added.
On Twitter, users were gobsmacked that Mr. Trump had acknowledged doing anything wrong. Hillary Clinton’s aides pounced on the speech, trying to disabuse anyone of the idea that this could mean a “new” version of Mr. Trump.
Indeed, he has tried to pivot before, only to revert to form soon after. And this version of Mr. Trump came after he brought on Stephen K. Bannon, a flame-throwing nationalist and executive of Breitbart News, as campaign chief.
But the soothing words of Thursday’s speech were more reflective of Kellyanne Conway, the newly promoted campaign manager with whom Mr. Trump has worked for years.
Mr. Trump spoke about a “New American Future,” a line similar to the “New American Century” that Marco Rubio heralded during the Republican primary. Elections are about the future, not the past, and Mr. Trump often dwells on a bygone era when he says he believes life was better in the United States.
“What do you have to lose by trying something new?” he asked specifically of black voters, with whom he is polling at a dismal 1 percent in some surveys.
Still, Mr. Trump invoked the touchstones of his campaign, including a restrictive immigration policy that would primarily affect Muslims. He is set to begin airing his first general election ads on Friday. And it will be hard for him to undo 14 months of a slashing, aggressive tone that polls show has alienated a wide portion of the electorate.
On the Trail
Mr. Trump has a rally scheduled in Dimondale, Mich., and he and Gov. Mike Pence of IndianaCNN reports, will travel to Baton Rouge, La., to tour the widespread damage from flooding in the state.
Mrs. Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia have no public events on their schedules.
Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, faces an uphill fight for re-election with Donald J. Trump at the top of the ticket.
Charles Mostoller for The New York Times
Party officials and strategists fear that Mr. Trump is in such danger that even their best-prepared candidates will not be able to withstand the impact.
Donald J. Trump said in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday that there were times he did not “choose the right words.”
Travis Dove for The New York Times
Without being specific, the Republican nominee departs from his pugilistic nature to offer an apology for his statements that have “caused personal pain.”
Supporters of Donald J. Trump in West Bend, Wis., on Tuesday. One of the central questions of the presidential election has been whether enough white men will turn out to vote to lift Mr. Trump to victory.
Damon Winter/The New York Times
It appears that after a stream of provocations, insults and reckless remarks, Mr. Trump has damaged himself with the one demographic that stands as a bulwark to a Clinton presidency.

Donald Trump at a campaign event in West Bend, Wis., on Tuesday.
Damon Winter/The New York Times
The shake-up of Mr. Trump’s campaign was set in motion by people and groups backed by the political action committee of a New York investor, Robert Mercer.

If Hillary Clinton Wins, Foundation Will Stop Accepting Foreign Donations
The Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of money from abroad has been fodder used by Donald J. Trump in an effort to label her as corrupt.
Hillary Clinton met with law enforcement officials in New York on Thursday to discuss policing practices.
Hillary Clinton Told F.B.I. Colin Powell Advised Her to Use Private Email
The account is included in notes the F.B.I. gave Congress on Tuesday, detailing her interview with the bureau.