PITTSBURGH — Donald Trump has amplified his focus this week on a strident nationalist and law-and-order message, emphasizing rhetoric that has fueled his popularity among white working-class voters but which also threatens to antagonize the centrists likely to decide the November election.
In speeches and interviews in recent days, Trump has called for “American hands” to remake the country rather than those of foreigners. He has portrayed Syrian refugees as a cultural threat, not just a security risk. He has also embraced controversial “stop-and-frisk” policing — a tactic championed by some conservatives but opposed in minority communities as a form of racial profiling — and suggested on Thursday that drugs were a major factor in anti-police protests.
Trump’s hard-edged message is at odds with more traditional nominees who tend to use the final weeks of the race to shore up support among voters in the middle of the political spectrum. It also comes at the same time that Trump has been attempting to reach out to minority communities with visits to black churches and charter schools, making for some awkward interactions and scenes.
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