With an impromptu jaunt to Mexico on Wednesday for a high-profile meeting with the country’s president, Donald Trump’s campaign hoped he would appear freshly decisive and presidential.
And the Republican nominee delivered, appearing measured and even diplomatic during a joint press conference after the meeting.
Just a few hours later, however, speaking to a room of spirited supporters in Phoenix, Trump seemed to send a conflicting message. Faced with a final opportunity to reconfigure his immigration stance in the home stretch of the presidential election, Trump opted to stay the course with his hardline positions and fiery rhetoric.
Trump’s strategy could energize his core supporters anew, but it also risks alienating undecided voters who have remained wary of Trump’s tone and temperament in the context of the presidency.