- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 20, 2016

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hammered home his new populist and nationalist message at a rally Saturday, telling voters that he’s fighting for all Americans and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton is in it for political insiders.

“It is going to be a new day in America. It is going to be a great day in America,” Mr. Trump said. “Government will listen to the people again. The voters, not the special interests, will be in charge.”

This new brand of populist nationalism has emerged as a central theme of Mr. Trump’s run against Mrs. Clinton, who is leading in most polls, since the New York billionaire reorganized his campaign this week, adopted a scripted stump speech and repeatedly delivered it with the aid of teleprompters.

The message builds on his longstanding “America First” doctrine, which he has applied to his agenda for trade, national security and immigration reform.

“We are going to reject globalism and put America First. It’s going to be America First from now on,” he told the enthusiastic crowd at the Fredericksburg Expo Center. “This is the change I am promising. My opponent is the corrupt defender of a rigged system and a failed status quo.”

Mr. Trump described the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state as “an insider fighting for insiders.”

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“I am an outsider fighting for you,” declared Mr. Trump. “Hillary Clinton is a throwback from yesterday. Our campaign is about creating a new American future.”

He repeatedly accused Mrs. Clinton of corruption and being a political insider who wants to continue business as usual in Washington and carry on President Obama’s liberal policies.

Mr. Trump adopted the more disciplined performance on the stump to avoid off-the-cuff remarks that have created distractions in the news media while his poll numbers sagged, including in the once reliably red state of Virginia that went Democratic in the last two presidential elections.

Mrs. Clinton made an aggressive play to keep Virginia blue this year, including selecting the state’s U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate.

Mr. Trump called Mr. Kaine, who formerly served as Virginia governor, a “failed governor” who raised taxes and allowed the state to become a top destination for illegal immigrants.

“Our open border is also being used as a recruiting tool for criminal gangs, creating a growing gang problem right here in the state of Virginia where a large number of gang members are in the country illegally,” he said. “We are going to end this chaos and restore peace, law and order to our land.”

The changes made on the stump were welcomed by Republican strategists and party leaders who have been urging Mr. Trump to show more message discipline and make the election a referendum on Mrs. Clinton.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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