Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Sun Center Studios, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Aston, Penn. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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Trump, eager to blunt criticism that his campaign inspires racism in the midst of what he called "a national crisis," has sought to express empathy in recent days.Earlier in the day, Trump seemed to suggest that protesters outraged by the police shootings of black men were under the influence of drugs.On Thursday, Trump clarified that he had been referring only to murder-plagued Chicago.Democrat Hillary Clinton did not address escalating racial tensions Thursday as she prepared for her first debate-stage meeting with Trump. She dinged her opponent, albeit in a humorous way, in an interview released Thursday on comic Zach Galifianakis' web program, "Between Two Ferns". The comedian asked her what Trump might wear to Monday's debate.Trump, in particular, has struggled to balance a message that appeals to his white, working-class base with one that improves his standing with minorities and educated whites who may worry about racial undertones in his candidacy.On Thursday, Trump tried at times to project a softer message, calling for a nation united in "the spirit of togetherness".
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