Politics: Trump strikes an oddly regretful tone after hammering Democrats with 'racist' campaigning

Trump extends an olive branch as danger draws near in the midterm elections.

The president's mournful rhetoric on the even of the midterms followed a campaign filled with vitriolic anti-immigration talk and 'racist' ads.

  • President Donald Trump struck an unusual tone in an interview on the eve of the midterm elections after a campaign filled with vitriolic anti-immigration rhetoric and ads widely seen as racist.
  • Trump appeared sorry for his harsh tone while calling for reconciliation with Democrats, whom he accuses of plotting an immigrant invasion of the US.
  • Republicans are poised to lose control of the House of Representatives but keep the Senate, according to the latest polling.
  • Trump has struggled to push through his agenda even with all three branches of government in his party's power, and warned that Democrats, should they win, could roll it all back.

After vigorously campaigning for Republicans in the midterms with hardline anti-immigration rhetoric widely seen as racist or extremist, President Donald Trump struck a strangely regretful tone in an interview on the eve of Election Day.

Trump has deployed 5,000 troops, some of whom appeared in combat gear, to the US-Mexico border while appearing to muse about having them shoot immigrants.

Trump released an anti-immigration ad against the Democrats that was so racially charged it prompted an unprecedented media response, with Facebook, NBC, Fox, and CNN refusing to air it.

Read more: Trump asks Supreme Court to wind down 'Dreamer' immigration program

Trump gave speeches branding the Democrats as radicalized socialists hoping to take away lawfully-owned guns from US citizens and open the borders to immigrants he called "invaders," making false or unfounded claims along the way.

But with the Republicans' complete grip on government power poised to slip from Trump's hands as polling aggregators give Democrats an 80% chance of winning the House of Representatives, he seemed to regret his tone.

Trump seems sorry

Asked in an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group if he had any regrets from his first two years in office, Trump pointed straight at his own words and actions.

"I would like to have a much softer tone," he said. Trump attributed his often-harsh tone to a desire to get things done and antagonists in the Democratic party, saying the combative nature of politics may have tied his hands.

"I feel to a certain extent I have no choice, but maybe I do," he continued.

Perhaps hedging against losing the House, Trump also spoke of mending relations with the Democrats, and chalked up vitriol on both sides as mere campaign rhetoric.

"I would love to get along, and I think after the election a lot of things can happen. But right now they are in their mode, and we are in our mode. And you know if you're criticized you have to hit back, or you should," Trump said in the interview.

Read more: 9 Senate races that are shaping up to be nail-biters and will determine which party controls the Senate

Trump's policies risk being washed away in a blue wave

Polls indicate that Republicans can likely hold the Senate or even gain ground. But losing even one house of Congress could seriously cripple Trump's legislative agenda that has even sputtered and stalled with all three branches of government under his control.

On Monday on a telephone "town hall" organized by his re-election campaign, Trump told voters that his hold on government and the future of his achievements were "fragile," the Associated Press noted.

Everything he's done in office "can be undone and changed by the Democrats if they get in," Trump said.

Read more: In New York, California, Texas, and 27 other states you can take time off from work to vote — here's the full list

On Tuesday, voters around the country will determine who controls Congress amid the least popular presidency since the advent of modern polling.

But on the eve of the fateful day, Trump began notably peppering his usual hard-charges with self-criticism and what appeared as calls for reconciliation.

"I do eventually want to unite," Trump said at a rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana, "but I'm driving them crazy."


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