Eric Trump: North Carolina is "Must Win"

by: Liz Foster, Tina Terry, Paul Boyd Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - For the first time, Republican Donald Trump says he regrets some of his most heated campaign statements.

The GOP nominee said at the rally in Charlotte that, "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. And believe it or not, I regret it," he says, "particularly where it may have caused personal pain."

Trump said that, "Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues."

Trump was reading from prepared remarks, using a teleprompter instead of his usually off-the-cuff rally style after re-shaping his campaign team.

Trump doubled down on the outsider message that helped power him to victory in the GOP primary.

Trump said that he is "running to be the voice for every forgotten part of this country that has been waiting and hoping for a better future."

In a nod to the continued frustration in his party over his unorthodox campaign and inability to stay on message, Trump said that he's "glad that I make the powerful a little uncomfortable now and again — including some powerful people in my own party."

He said that "means I am fighting for real change."

Trump has been denounced dozens of current and former GOP party officials, advisers, and White House staffers.

Donald Trump accused rival Hillary Clinton of "bigotry" — a claim Clinton's campaign has thrown back in Trump's face.

Trump said that Clinton "sees communities of color only as votes and not as human beings worthy of a better future."

He claims that she and other Democrats have failed to do enough to improve the lives of minorities and those who live in inner cities.

Trump said that if African-American voters give him a chance by giving him their vote, "the result for them will be amazing."

He asked, "What do you have to lose by trying something new?"

Trump is trailing Clinton by vast margins among minority voters.

Trump will tour the flood damage in ravaged Louisiana Friday.

A campaign official familiar with the plans said the GOP nominee and his running mate Mike Pence will travel to the state on Friday.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans before they were officially announced.

At least 13 people have died as a result of the flooding, and at one point 11,000 were in shelters.

Trump said at the Charlotte rally Thursday that his prayers are with the people impacted.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will talk about national security Thursday night at a rally in the Charlotte Convention Center.

His son Eric Trump and his wife Lara Trump were also in Charlotte.

Eric Trump was blunt when it came to the importance of North Carolina for his father's campaign.

Eric Trump is a trusted advisor to his father's presidential campaign and told Channel 9's Paul Boyd that North Carolina is crucial to victory in November.

“It is (a) must-win,” Eric Trump said. “We're going to consider it (a) must-win. And it's a place we're going to spend a tremendous amount of time.”

They're also about to spend a tremendous amount of money in North Carolina.

The Trump campaign is launching television ads expected to hit the air Friday.

“We're certainly going to be running a lot of ads in North Carolina,” Eric Trump said.

Advertising executives estimate the trump campaign will spend about $350,000 on television commercials in Charlotte alone in the coming days. 

Clinton's campaign is estimated to be spending about $400,000 over the same period.
 
The Trump campaign said they're hoping to earn new support from Latino and black voters, two groups that do not traditionally vote Republican, historically an uphill battle.
 
“Listen, my father's going to run on behalf of everybody,” he said. “He's not doing this for fun. He's not doing this because he needs a job. He's doing this because he cares about America. He cares about the people of this country.”

Fundraisers were held Thursday at Trump National Golf Club in Mooresville and the Westin Hotel in uptown before a campaign rally at the Charlotte Convention Center.


Trump gets first classified intelligence briefing

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received his first classified intelligence briefing Wednesday, the day before he is set to visit Charlotte.

Many voters have been preparing for the appearance Thursday at the Charlotte Convention Center who lined up outside several hours before the doors opened.

Security expert Chris Swecker went through at least two classified briefings a day when he was the assistant director of the FBI.

Eyewitness News anchor Liz Foster asked him what Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton will hear.

"They'll get a fairly generic briefing. They're not going to get any information about the sources, the methods from which the information came from so they can't compromise that in any way," Swecker said.

Trump plans to talk about his national security plan while in Charlotte.

One idea he just laid out involves extreme vetting of people trying to come to the U.S. and banning immigration from countries with ties to terrorist groups.

"We will have to temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most violent regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism," Trump said earlier this week.

Clinton fired back at his plan.

“It just absolutely bewilders me when I hear him talk about national security,” Clinton said. “What he often says hurts us. It sends the wrong message."

For more than 60 years, the nominees of the two major political parties have received classified briefings from top government officials. The decision is aimed at facilitating a smooth transition from candidate to commander-in-chief.

Democrats have expressed concerns about Trump receiving sensitive information, but Trump said Clinton is the one who "can't keep anything private."

Swecker predicts the candidates' plans for national security will evolve leading up to the election, as advisors and attorneys weigh in.

One thing that won't change is how important of a role national security will play in this election.

"The world is a pretty dangerous place right now and it's only going to get worse," Swecker said.

The Republican presidential nominee was scheduled to address supporters Thursday evening at the Charlotte Convention Center. It'll mark his second public visit to Charlotte since late July, when he addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention. He traveled to Wilmington and Fayetteville last week.

Trump is expected to begin speaking around 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 4:30 p.m.

Trump hotel two fundraisers earlier Thursday -- one at Trump National Golf Club at Lake Norman and another at the Westin hotel.

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