Snapshots: Candidates soften tone after Dallas killings

The deaths of five Dallas police officers connected America’s most intractable problems, gun violence and race relations, while exposing the public rage that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will confront on two issues the current president has struggled to solve.

The killings immediately forced the White House contenders to soften their tone. Both Clinton, a Democrat, and Trump, a Republican, canceled campaign events and released statements condemning the deaths and expressing condolence for the victims.

It’s unclear how long the break from harsh political attacks that have defined the presidential race will last, and whether either of the candidates who are saddled with high unfavorability ratings reflecting voters’ sour mood would be capable of finding a middle ground to reach consensus.

“Our two choices ain’t looking good,” said Dan Flynn, a 30-year-old mechanic from New York who was visiting the National Civil War Museum in Pennsylvania on Friday. He described Trump as arrogant and Clinton as dishonest.

Trump, who has struggled to find the right tone to unite a party splito ver his once-unlikely bid, decried the political divisions in the country. “This is a time, perhaps more than ever, for strong leadership, love and compassion,” Trump said.

“We must restore law and order,” Trump said. “Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better.”

Clinton addressed both the shootings of the police officers in Dallas and the deaths of the two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota when she spoke Friday night at the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s general conference in Philadelphia.

“We know that there is something wrong in our country,” she told the audience. She said there is no conflict between supporting police officers, making sure all people are treated fairly by the criminal justice system and working on ways to reduce gun violence.

“None of us can afford to be indifferent toward each other not now, not ever,” she said.

Trump adviser supports abortion rights

One of Donald Trump’s potential running mates said Sunday that women should be the ones to decide whether or not to have abortions.

Women “are the ones that have to make the decision because they’re the ... ones that are going to decide to bring up that child or not,” Ret. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Flynn’s statement counters Republican policy asserting constitutional rights for the unborn.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, said Flynn’s position on abortion “disqualifies him” from being Trump’s vice president. She said in a statement that Flynn’s remarks conflict with several assurances Trump has given anti-abortion groups, such as his support for defunding Planned Parenthood and his commitment to nominating an anti-abortion justice to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Flynn is one of several people Trump, that presumptive Republican nominee, is considering for his vice president. Trump is expected to announce his decision at week’s end.

Trump says he opposes abortion, with exceptions. But he’s struggled over the issue. In March, he said on MSNBC that women should be punished for having illegal abortions. He then said doctors who perform the procedure are the ones who should be punished.