Trump to focus on economy, Clinton in bid to move beyond feuds

With the economy a major issue, Trump speaks on Monday to business leaders of the Detroit Economic Club.

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Seeking to move beyond a week of discord, US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will on Monday outline plans for trade, taxes and regulation and contrast his ideas for economic growth with those of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Senior aides and supporters said the New York businessman, making his first run at public office, wanted to put behind him his disputes with Republican Party leaders and the parents of a Muslim American soldier killed in Iraq.

“He is very focused. He knows what he needs to do,” Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, told Fox News on Sunday. “I am confident that he's going to start doing it.”

With the economy a major issue, Trump speaks on Monday to business leaders of the Detroit Economic Club. On Thursday in Michigan, Clinton lays out a plan for the “biggest investment in good-paying jobs since World War Two,” her campaign said.

Clinton, a Democrat like President Barack Obama, will be buoyed in part by figures released on Friday showing US employment rose more than expected for the second month in a row in July and wages picked up, bolstering expectations of faster economic growth.

In a phone call lasting little more than an hour on Sunday and run by some of Trump’s most senior aides, members of his newly announced economic advisory group shared their views on policy, said banker Stephen Calk, one of the members who took part.

The economic advisory group includes no women and many of the members come from hedge funds and investment banking, a make-up at odds somewhat with Trump’s populist message.

Calk, chief executive of Federal Savings Bank and National Bancorp Holdings, said Trump had asked advisory group members to nominate women and minorities who could be added to the group. He said there were some “big, recognizable” names on the call who would be announced soon as joining the team but did not elaborate.

Investor Wilbur Ross, also part of the group, said earlier the group was a combination of “academics and people who work in the real economy and focus on economic issues every day.”

“The idea is to illustrate how tax policy, trade policy, immigration policy, regulatory policy all fit into the mission,” said Professor Peter Navarro of the University of California, Irvine, business school, who is also on the advisory group.

Calk described Trump’s vision for taxes as the biggest tax revolution since President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

He said the plan was to lower the corporate tax burden and encourage US companies with operations abroad to repatriate profits at a more digestible tax rate. The current rate is 35 percent.

A new Washington Post-ABC News opinion poll on Sunday showed Trump trailing Clinton by 8 percentage points after her party’s convention in Philadelphia.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll out on Friday showed the race closer three months ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Leaders of Trump’s Republican Party last week distanced themselves from his spat with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the American Muslim Gold Star parents who criticized Trump at last month's Democratic National Convention.

Republicans were incensed when he initially refused to endorse US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and two Republican US senators in their re-election bids. Late on Friday, Trump said he supported all three.

Former US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had been on Trump’s short list of potential vice presidential running mates, said last week in a Fox Business Network interview that some of Trump’s recent actions had been “just very self-destructive” and that the candidate was “not yet performing at the level that you need to.”

But in a Fox News interview on Sunday, Gingrich said that while Trump had made mistakes, he thought Clinton’s errors around a private email server she used while President Barack Obama’s secretary of state were worse.

On Friday, Clinton said she had “short-circuited” when she characterized FBI Director James Comey as having said she had been truthful about her email server. Comey had contradicted several statements Clinton had made about the server.

“I’ll take the week. I think she managed to trump Trump in terms of mistakes,” Gingrich said.

US Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton’s vice presidential running mate, defended her email answers on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“She made a mistake, and she said over and over again, ‘I made a mistake, and I’ve learned from it, and I’m going to fix it, and I apologize for it,” Kaine said.

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