Charlotte, N.C. — A week after two appearances in North Carolina, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump returned to the state Thursday and publicly expressed regret for some of his past mistakes.
Speaking to a Charlotte crowd, Trump apologized for occasions when he said the wrong thing in public.
“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 said. “I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.”
Trump said that, despite regret for some things he has said, he has never lied to supporters while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “is one of the greatest liars of all time.”
“I will never lie to you, I will never tell you something I do not believe, I will never put anybody’s interests above yours, and I will never ever stop fighting for you,” he said.
Trump blamed Clinton and President Barack Obama for the rise of ISIS and said that the Democratic Party has ignored the African-American community and taken its votes for granted.
Trump said that he plans to work closely with the African-American community to deliver new opportunities.
“This means a lot to me, and it’s going to be a top priority in a Trump administration,” he said. “In my administration, every American will be treated equally, protected equally and honored equally. We will reject bigotry.”
A majority of the nearly one-hour speech focused on providing new opportunities to all Americans, and Trump said he chose to run for president to speak for Americans who don’t have a voice of their own.
Trump said he particularly hopes to provide more opportunities for those living in the inner cities, support charter schools, give all students a greater chance at an education and make it easier for young Americans to get the credit they need to start a business.
“Young people are destroyed before they even start,” he said. “I refuse to let another generation of American children be excluded from the American dream,” Trump said.
With the audience chanting their familiar refrain of “build the wall,” Trump turned the conversation to immigration and asserted that those who believe in suppressing others of different ethnic backgrounds and faiths would not be welcome to join the country.
He said that, under his administration, immigration would be suspended from any place where adequate screening and extreme vetting could not be performed.
“We are going to end the era of nation building and instead focus on destroying ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism,” he said, noting military, financial and cyber warfare could be used.
Speaking about trade, Trump said the city of Charlotte has lost one-quarter of manufacturing jobs to China during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. He said that, if he is elected, he will renegotiate NAFTA and withdraw if other countries don’t agree with this plans.
“Hillary Clinton has supported all of the major trade deals that have stripped this country of its jobs and its wealth,” he said.
During the speech, Trump also took a few moments to speak about the recent devastating floods in Louisiana and encouraged supporters to band together to help.
“We are one nation. When one state hurts, we all hurt, and we must all work together to lift each other up," he said.