Yesterday, Donald Trump read the following off a teleprompter in Charlotte, North Carolina:
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 I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.
It's a clever line. Hats off to Donald's speechwriter. But that's all it is: a line from a teleprompter.
For most of us, an apology involves looking someone in the eye and taking responsibility for what you did. But Trump didn't even bother to tell us what he regrets saying or who he regrets hurting over the past year.
Here's the truth: over the past year, Donald Trump has tried to insult and bully his way to the White House. He has fabricated lies and invented bizarre conspiracy theories to stoke racial animus and divide the American people. He repeatedly made racist remarks about a federal judge's heritage and attacked a Gold Star family because of their faith. He has preyed upon the most vulnerable and disparaged our men and women in uniform in his power-hungry quest for the presidency.
Even after winning his party's nomination, he has acted more like a Bully-in-Chief than a future leader of our country.
In Trump's warped world, it might be enough to vaguely say that you have regrets. But Trump owes the people he has attacked and bullied so much more than that. He needs to explain exactly what he regrets--and then sincerely apologize to the individuals, families and communities to whom he has caused personal pain.
Here's where he could start:
1. Slandering Mexican immigrants: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." [Campaign kickoff speech, 6/16/15]
2. Criticizing former POW Sen. John McCain: "He's not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." [Politico, 7/18/15]
3. Criticizing Fox News host Megyn Kelly: "I have no respect for her...You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever." [CNN, 8/7/15]
4. Calling children of immigrants "anchor babies" [Fox News (reported by CBS), 8/19/15]
5. Questioning then-opponent Ben Carson's religion: "I just don't know about" the Seventh-Day Adventist church [Washington Post, 10/25/15]
6. Mocking a disabled reporter: "'I don't know what I said. I don't remember!' He's going, 'I don't remember!'" [South Carolina rally, 11/22/15]
7. Claiming that as the Twin Towers collapsed, "thousands of Muslims were cheering." [Birmingham rally, 11/21/15; debunked 12/4/15]
8. Calling for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." [12/4/15]
9. Using violent language: "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn't lose voters." [Sioux Center, Iowa,1/23/16]
10. Retweeting an unflattering picture of Ted Cruz's wife. [Twitter, 3/23/16]
11. Saying it was "not my job to apologize" to the reporter who was allegedly assaulted by former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski [NYT video, 3/29/16]
12. Accusing Hillary Clinton of playing the "woman card" and claiming that without it, she "would not even be a viable person to even run for a city council position." [Today Show, 4/28/16]
13. Putting out an offensive #CincoDeMayo tweet: "I love Hispanics!" with a photo of him with a taco bowl [Donald Trump tweet, 5/5/16]
14. Calling a Washington Post reporter "a nasty guy" for asking him about fulfilling his pledge to donate to veterans groups. [Washington Post,5/23/16]
15. Going after GOP Gov. Susana Martinez, saying she was "not doing the job" after she criticized him and didn't appear at his rally. [New York Times, 5/25/16]
16. Launching racist attacks on Indiana-born Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a class-action lawsuit against Trump University, saying he couldn't be impartial because he was "Mexican." [New York Times editorial, 5/31/16], [Wall Street Journal, 6/3/16], [New York Times, 6/3/16]
17. After being asked more than 20 times in one interview, denying he was being racist toward Judge Curiel. [CNN, 6/5/16]
18. Pointing out "my African-American" at a rally in California. [New York Times, 6/3/16]
19. Tripling down on his racist comments about "very strongly pro-Mexican" Judge Curiel, saying he is biased because Trump is "going to build a wall." [Face the Nation, CBS News, 6/5/16]
20. Saying it is "absolutely" possible a Muslim judge wouldn't treat him fairly. [Face the Nation, CBS News, 6/5/16]
21. Calling U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" (again). [Donald Trump tweet, 6/10/16], [Vox, 6/10/16]
22. Accusing President Obama of sympathizing with terrorists. [Washington Post, 6/13/16]
23. Calling for a ban on immigrants from areas of the world with a "proven history of terrorism." [Trump remarks via TIME, 6/13/16]
24. Calling for surveillance of U.S. mosques. [New York Times, 6/15/16]
25. Calling for profiling of U.S. Muslims. [Face the Nation, CBS, 6/19/16]
26. Posting an anti-Semitic graphic on Twitter, which originated on an alt-right message board. [Mic, 7/3/16]
27. Saying the Star of David image he tweeted was actually a "sheriff's star," "plain star," and "basic star" [CNN, 7/4/16] and that his staff should not have deleted the Star of David tweet. [The Hill, 7/6/16]
28. Attacking GOP senators, characterizing Sen. Mark Kirk as a "loser" and singling out Sens. Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse for criticizing him. [Washington Post, 7/7/16]
29. Tying Ted Cruz's father to the JFK assassination (again). [Politico, 7/22/16]
30. Calling on Russia to interfere in the U.S. election. [New York Times, 7/27/16]
31. Denying he mocked a disabled reporter. [Fox News via Mediaite, 7/28/16]
33. Predicting the election will be "rigged" [Huffington Post, 8/1/16]
34. Saying former POW John McCain "has not done a good job for the vets." [Washington Post, 8/2/16]
35. Inciting violence by saying "Second Amendment people" could stop Hillary Clinton from appointing Supreme Court justices after assuming the presidency. [Trump rally, 8/9/16]
36. Declaring President Obama "the founder of ISIS." [New York Times, 8/10/16]
37. Hiring a campaign chairman who fully embraced the white supremacist alt-right on racist, conspiracy theory-laden Breitbart. [Daily Wire,8/17/16]
That's a long list. With 81 days left in this campaign, Trump should probably start apologizing.