Donald Trump spoke to veterans at an American Legion conference in Reno, Nevada today, where he called for the nation to come together in “shared humanity” and “citizenship” one day after stoking deep divisions on race and politics during a fiery campaign speech.
“It is time to heal the wounds that divide us and to seek a new unity based on the common values that unite us,” Trump told the crowd of veterans.
Sticking largely to his prepared remarks, the president pointed to the military as a positive example for all Americans when it comes to patriotism, hard work, and common purpose, saying “we are one people, with one home and one flag.”
“We are not defined by the color of our skin, the figure on our paycheck or the party of our politics,” Trump said. “We are defined by our shared humanity, our citizenship in this magnificent nation and by the love that fills our hearts.”
However, he did manage to get in one dig at former President Barack Obama. Trump claimed people are “proud” again of America. For no good reason at all, he added, “I must say, much more proud than they were last year at this time.”
Trump’s completely different messages have given the nation whiplash over the last 24 hours, renewing questions about his true thoughts about this month’s deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. It appears teleprompter Trump is a completely different individual than off-the-cuff Trump.
Trump began Tuesday night’s campaign-style rally in Phoenix with similar comments to those he made in Reno, then broke into an extended, unscripted rant blaming the news media for the backlash against his response to the white supremacist rally in Virginia.
At Tuesday night’s rally, he pulled out and read a paper copy of his prepared remarks from Aug. 12, the day a woman was killed when a motorist with reported ties to white supremacists allegedly plowed his car into a group of counter-protesters at the Charlottesville rally. But the president omitted his claim that there was blame “on many sides” for the violence.