Republican Donald Trump sharpened his attacks Thursday on Democrat Hillary Clinton for dishonesty, corruption and catering to special interests while offing himself as a champion of the people.
“Hillary Clinton’s mistakes destroy innocent lives, sacrifice national security, and betray the working families of this country,” Mr. Trump said at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, delivering the first stump speech since reorganizing his campaign.
“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,” said the New York billionaire.
“Instead, I will be a champion for the people,” he said.
Mr. Trump used a teleprompter for the speech, sticking closely to the script in a way he usually reserves for policy speeches.
The real estate tycoon said that he may be politically incorrect, but he tells the truth.
He slammed Mrs. Clinton for failing to apologize for her secret email setup as secretary of state, turning the State Department into a “pay-to-play operation,” the Iran nuclear deal, “unleashing” Islamic State or ISIS and “lying to the families who lost loved ones at Benghazi.”
“Has Hillary Clinton apologized for the decisions she made that have led to so much death, destruction and terrorism,” he asked.
The crowd responded: “No.”
The speech united several themes of Mr. Trump’s campaign, including fighting terrorism, getting tough on illegal immigration, making better trade deals and rebuilding the economy, while keeping the focus on what he described as the failures of Mrs. Clinton and her questionable character.
Mr. Trump also appealed for support from minorities and gay Americans who typically vote Democrat, as well as to factory workers losing their jobs and military veterans denied health care, saying he wanted to be their voice.
“I am running to be your voice,” he said.
Mr. Trump, who has been accused a racism and bigotry throughout the race, said that Mrs. Clinton was the real bigot.
“We are going to reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, which sees communities of color only as votes and not as human beings worthy of a better future,” he said, repeating a theme from his law-and-order speech Tuesday in Michigan.
He promise that he would lead America in rejecting bigotry and hatred and restoring honesty to government.
“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% of young African-Americans not working. It is time for change,” he said.
Mr. Trump said that, unlike Mrs. Clinton, he said was not running for his own aggrandizement.
“It’s not about me. It’s never been about me. It’s about all the people in this country who don’t have a voice,” said Mr. Trump. “I am running to be the voice for every forgotten part of this country that has been waiting and hoping for a better future.”
“I am glad that I make the powerful a little uncomfortable now and again – including some powerful people in my own party,” said Mr. Trump. “Because it means I am fighting for real change.”