Is Trump changing tactics? Controversial candidate apologizes

DIMONDALE, Mich. (WLNS) — As people gather in Dimondale to hear from Donald Trump, some expected a different tone from the controversial presidential candidate.

In a speech Thursday night, Trump seemed to soften his message.

“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,” Trump said. “And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.”

For many people in line to see Trump, it was the apology they’ve been waiting for.

“I saw that on TV, and I am so excited for that. I think for others who aren’t sure about Trump, it’s a great thing for him to do,” said local republican Suzie Van Hall.

“I think it shows a deeper level of reflectiveness,” said local republican Joan Fabiano.

Political scientist Matt Grossmann sees it as one of many campaign resets.

“We’ll see if this has a chance of succeeding. He’s seemed to have found a few people who he trusts to run the campaign,” said political scientist Matt Grossmann.

The apology seems to be a blanket response to months of controversial comments.

“It’s not usual at all that a campaign that is behind in the polls would want to reorganize or try a different messaging strategy,” Grossmann said.

Trump’s campaign could be re-positioning for the general election, trying to sway traditional republicans who just aren’t there yet.

“I think you’ll start to see some willingness to forgive from traditional republican voters if he starts to offer what sounds like a more regular conservative message,” Grossmann said.

But Trump has to step carefully.

Dialing back his message could turn off supporters.

“I’m okay with him the way he is. Because I’m really tired of political correctness,” Van Hall said.

“I hope we don’t have a different candidate. Donald Trump is the candidate that everyone is supporting,” Fabiano said.

Although it may seem like everyone has their mind by now, Grossmann said people generally don’t start paying attention to the election until after Labor Day.

So there is room for all of the candidates to grow.

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