Donald Trump is not known for pulling punches on the campaign trail, but now that the November face-off between him and his Democratic foe Hillary Clinton is officially set to go down, he says he plans to be even more aggressive.
Speaking at a rally in Colorado on Friday evening, Trump told the audience that after the Democratic National Convention — where Clinton and other speakers repeatedly slammed and mocked the tempestuous property mogul — he's "taking the gloves off."
"I've been nice, but after watching that performance last night? Such lies. I don't have to be nice anymore," he said.
Trump also said he's now willing to entertain demands from his supporters to prosecute Clinton for the way she handled classified information on her private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. He'd previously side-stepped the issue by saying his top priority is defeating Clinton in the general election.
"Everytime I mention her, everyone screams 'lock her up,'" he said. "I'm starting to agree with you, frankly. No more Mr. Nice Guy."
Trump may be feeling the pressure after the latest polls showed him trailing Clinton following a star-studded Democratic convention that included speeches by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with appearances by celebrities such as Sarah Silverman, Lena Dunham, and Katy Perry. A new poll by Reuters/Ipsos showed Clinton leading Trump by six points, while Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight currently gives Clinton a nearly 53 percent chance of winning in November.
The entire Democratic convention was a meticulously crafted takedown of Trump, with speakers painting him as a power-hungry, unstable demagogue who could never be trusted with the country's nuclear codes. Seeking to woo potential Republican defectors who just can't get behind their party's nominee, some DNC speakers also used rhetoric that was consistent with old-fashioned Republicanism. Some of them, like Doug Elmets, a former aide and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan, were actual Republicans.
Speaking before Clinton on Thursday, Elmets called Trump "a petulant, dangerously unbalanced reality star who will coddle tyrants and alienate allies," and said he plans to vote for a Democrat for the first time in his life.
"I haven't just voted Republican. I worked in President Reagan's White House," he said. "I recently led an effort to place a statue of Ronald Reagan in California's capitol. I'm here tonight to say: I knew Ronald Reagan; I worked for Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan."
Watch: How Trump and Clinton compare on four different issues