Donald Trump.jpg
Photograph: EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

After reshuffling his campaign for the second time in two months, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump voiced uncharacteristic regret late Thursday for his inflammatory choice of words in the past.

"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," he said at an evening rally in North Carolina.

"I have done that, and, believe it or not, I regret it."

Trump said he regretted those mistakes "particularly where it may have caused personal pain."

At the same time, he sought to contrast his provocative style with his rival, Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton, whom he has continually tried to portray as dishonest.

"I can promise you this: I will always tell you the truth," Trump said.

The campaign rally in North Carolina, a Southern swing state, was Trump's first since naming a new campaign manager and rearranging his staff.

Earlier Thursday, he met with a police department in the town of Statesville, North Carolina, telling the officers, "I'm with you 1,000 per cent."

His trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, followed his announcement Wednesday of a reshuffle of his campaign, amid opinion polls that show him falling behind Clinton in decisive states, including North Carolina.

"North Carolina is going to be very important," Trump said.

Trump's campaign began placing television advertising Thursday in North Carolina, as well as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida - three other swing states, the website Politico reported.

The shake-up in his campaign brought in Stephen Bannon, who runs the conservative website Breitbart News, to the role of chief executive, and Kellyanne Conway, a veteran Republican pollster, who was named campaign manager.

Conway said Thursday that the Trump campaign would be very different in the coming weeks.

"We're going to sharpen the message," she told broadcaster CNN. "What I would like him to do is let everyone get the benefit of his leadership. He scores very well in strong leader, and that's what so many Americans are starving for."

Bannon, a former naval officer and investment banker, has never before managed a national political campaign. He will step aside from his job at Breitbart News in order to take on the role, according to reports.

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