Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE said Thursday he regrets any damage he inflicted with his blunt rhetoric on the campaign trail as the candidate and his revamped campaign staff look to recover from a rough few weeks. 

“As you know, I am not a politician. I have worked in business, creating jobs and rebuilding neighborhoods 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 it more difficult to achieve total victory,” the GOP presidential nominee said at a rally in Charlotte, N.C.

“Sometimes, in the heat of the 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."


The speech comes just days after Trump shook up his campaign leadership, naming pollster and former adviser Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon campaign CEO. 

His expression of regret may come as a surprise to those who expected Bannon to reject any efforts by other advisers to polish Trump's message in the home stretch of the general election. Conway said she didn't want Trump to lose his "authenticity." 

But Trump is fresh off a string of damaging remarks, including feuding with the Muslim parents of a soldier killed in Iraq and declaring President Obama the "founder" of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. And recent polls, both national and in battleground states, show him trailing Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCommunion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Memo: Some Democrats worry rising crime will cost them MORE

In his Thursday speech, Trump attacked Clinton's honesty and promised to never lie and to always put voters' interests first.

"In this journey, I will never lie to you," he said. "I will never tell you something I do not believe myself. I will never put anyone's interests ahead of yours."
"Aren't you tired of the same old lies and the same old broken promises?" Trump asked.
Trump said that Clinton "has proven to be one of the greatest liars of all time."
"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.

Trump continued to criticize the media for focusing on his controversial remarks rather than the problems facing voters. 

“The establishment media doesn’t cover what really matters in this country, or what’s really going on in peoples’ lives,” he said.

“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,” Trump added.

“Just imagine if the media spent this much time investigating the poverty and joblessness in our inner cities. Just think about how much different things would be if the media in this country sent their cameras to our border, or to our closing factories, or to our failing schools.”

Trump added he would not stop ruffling establishment feathers, even if it means conflict with fellow Republicans. 

“I am glad I make the powerful a little uncomfortable now and again — including some powerful people in my own party. Because it means I am fighting for real change. I am fighting for you.” 

Updated at 9:06 p.m.