Clinton told supporters in Iowa that "words matter" regarding Trump's 2nd Amendment remarks

Analysis: Trump lofts another ill-timed diversion as voters seek to justify their November choice

 (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

Donald Trump is stuck in a destructive loop of his own making, his words increasingly at odds with his needs as the presidential campaign moves into its final phase. 

Trump won the Republican nomination on his willingness to say things to primary voters that ordinary politicians wouldn’t say. But going places where others won’t is a dangerous strategy when speaking to a broader audience, as Trump found out — again — Tuesday.

His remarks were vintage Trump. They could be interpreted various ways, but even the most benign gloss did nothing to expand his electoral reach or give uncertain voters a reason to cast a ballot for him.

Instead, his latest self-generated controversy represented, at best, another day on defense, another day explaining what he meant, another day in which Trump himself overrode whatever message might have cut into the advantages held by Hillary Clinton, the unpopular Democrat who has the great good luck to have him as an opponent.

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