When Donald Trump announced that he was running for president last summer, the first act of business that he brought up with his plans for immigration reform. After referring to illegal immigrants from Mexico as "murderers" and "rapists," the groundwork for his campaign was set and a line was drawn for his candidacy moving forward.

In defense of Trump

In the last year, Trump has failed to give much detail about any of his policy proposals, but has been vocal on his hard-line vision for immigration.

Building a border wall between the United States and Mexico, while deporting all 11 million illegal immigrants in the country appeared to be just the start of the Trump plan. However, with the Republican primary in the rear-view mirror and the general election now in play, the billionaire real estate mogul has found himself in a hole with Hispanics and other minorities. After appearing to "soften" his tone on immigration, the topic was discussed during an August 24 panel segment on CNN.

Joining host Anderson Cooper and a panel of guests was network contributor and Trump surrogate Kayleigh McEnany. After Cooper pressed her on the campaign's recent shift, McEnany appeared clueless on the news. McEnany denied that their was any "softening" going on behind the scenes on immigration, but rather that Trump was "listening to the voters" in regards to his new vision on the issue. The panel chuckled at McEnany, looking at her with confusion until panel guest Tara Setmayer decided to chime in.

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"Just acknowledge the obvious!" Setmayer shouted to McEnany, "This is a complete departure from what he campaigned on for the last year!"

November impact

Trump was able to become successful during the Republican primary because he was able to appeal to an older, white conservative base that has often found comfort in going on the offense against change. While this strategy played well with voters on the political right, it hasn't carried over to more moderate Americans.

Over 70 percent of Hispanics view Trump in a negative light, leading to a seven point national lead for Hillary Clinton in the most recent Real Clear Politics rolling average. The shift to a more practical approach to immigration appears to be too little, too late, as the general election is less than 80 days away with no signs pointing to a change in minority voting preferences.

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