Promising to be the voice of ‘forgotten Americans’, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has expressed regret for hurtful statements he has made in the past.
Speaking at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump said that he “regret causing pain to people by not choosing the ‘right words’ sometimes and uttering wrong things”.
“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, 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,” Trump said, adding that he “is not a politician”.
“I have worked in business, creating jobs and rebuilding neighbourhoods my entire adult life. I've never wanted to learn the language of the insiders, and I've never been politically correct — it takes far too much time, and can often make more difficult,” Trump further said.
“But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth. I speak the truth for all of you, and for everyone in this country who doesn't have a voice. I speak the truth on behalf of the factory worker who lost his or her job,” Trump asserted.
Trump said his only interest is the American people.
"So while sometimes I can be too honest, Hillary Clinton is the exact opposite: she never tells the truth. One lie after another, and getting worse each passing day," he said.
In a late night statement, the Clinton Campaign said he has much for which he should apologise.
"Donald Trump literally started his campaign by insulting people. He has continued to do so through each of the 428 days from then until now, without shame or regret. We learnt tonight that his speech writer and teleprompter knows he has much for which he should apologise," said Christina Reynolds from the Clinton Campaign.
"But 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," Reynolds said.
Trump, for his part, let loose a fusillade against Clinton.
"The American people are still waiting for Hillary Clinton to apologise for all of the many lies she's told to them, and the many times she's betrayed them. Tell me, has Hillary Clinton ever apologised for lying about her illegal email server and deleting 33,000 emails?" Trump asked.
"Has Hillary Clinton apologised for turning the State Department into a pay-for-play operation where favours are sold to the highest bidder? Has she apologised for lying to the families who lost loved ones at Benghazi? Has she apologised for putting Iran on the path to nuclear weapons?" he asked.
Trump alleged that Clinton's mistakes destroy innocent lives, sacrifice national security, and betray the working families of this country.
"Please remember this. I will never put personal profit before national security. I will never leave our border open to appease donors and special interests. I will never support a trade deal that kills American jobs. I will never put the special interests before the national interest. I will never put a donor before a voter, or a lobbyist before a citizen," he said, adding, "Instead, I will be a champion for the people."
"The establishment media doesn't cover what really matters in this country, or what's really going on in people's lives. They will take words of mine out of context and spend a week obsessing over every single syllable, and then pretend to discover some hidden meaning in what I said," he alleged.
With PTI Inputs