CHARLOTTE (WTVD) --A more direct, focused, scripted and even apologetic Donald Trump delivered a speech Thursday night at the Charlotte Convention Center to a crowd of supporters.
"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," Trump said. "And believe it or not, I regret it."
Trump comes back to North Carolina with new people at the head of his campaign here. Ahead of the 7:30 p.m. rally, Trump's campaign announced the changes in staff and a commitment to increase staff in the Tar Heel State.
"The continued expansion of our team in North Carolina, a key battleground state, shows the commitment the Trump-Pence Campaign has made to putting this state in the win column come November," said new State Director Jason Simmons, who previously worked for Gov. Pat McCrory's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
While the crowd laughed forgivingly when Trump admitted to sometimes saying the wrong thing, Hillary Clinton's campaign was quick to comment.
Her communications director, Christina Reynolds, offered the following statement:
"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 learned tonight that his speechwriter and teleprompter knows he has much for which he should apologize. 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."
Trump did not elaborate on what specific past comments he regrets, but he went on to promise the crowd to always tell them the truth. He then went on to deliver his plan for national security.
"We are going to end the era of nation building and instead focus on destroying, destroying, destroying ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism," said Trump to a cheering crowd of thousands inside Hall A of the Charlotte Convention Center.
He vowed to use military, cyber and financial warfare and to work with any partner in the world, including those in the Middle East that share the goal of defeating terrorism. He also specified that anyone applying for immigration must and will be thoroughly vetted for having any ties to terrorism.
"We will screen out anyone who doesn't share our values and love our people," Trump said.
Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, will travel to Baton Rouge on Friday and when Trump first took the podium he took the time to reflect on the devastation there.
"I'd like to take a moment to talk about the heartbreak and devastation in Louisiana, a state that is very, very special to me. We are one nation. When one state hurts, we all hurt. And we must all work together to lift each other up. Working, building, restoring together. Our prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones, and we send them our deepest condolences.
"Though words cannot express the sadness one feels at times like this, I hope everyone in Louisiana knows that our country is praying for them and standing with them to help them in these difficult hours," Trump said.
Later in the evening he was quick to accuse the Clinton campaign of taking African-American voters for granted and promised to do better.
"If African-American voters give Donald Trump a chance by giving me their vote, the result for them will be amazing. Look at how badly things are going under decades of Democratic leadership - look at the schools, look at the 58 percent of young African-Americans not working," Trump said. "It is time for change. What do you have to lose by trying something new? I will fix it. Watch. I will fix it."
He then vowed to work closely with African-American parents and children when it comes to education.
"We are going to work with everybody in the African-American community in the inner cities and what a big difference that is going to make," Trump said.
While Trump spoke inside the convention center there were loud voices outside. Several groups of protesters came out to plead their cause. There was the Donald Duck protest asking Trump to release his tax returns. There was also a march from members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
And there was a woman named Rose Hamid. She started by being inside the convention center, quietly moving through the crowd, hoping to talk to people about Islam to offset any misconceptions or fears people inside may have.
"I came here to the Trump rally for the hopes of Talking with Trump supporters and trying to engage with them and let them know that what they know about Islam, Muslims, is not true," said Hamid, who was asked by security to leave before the rally started.
"I was really disappointed," Hamid said. "I really didn't think they would do that because we weren't causing any problems and they could see what we were doing was just interacting with people."
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