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Washington CNN —  

To the critics who think Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric could be toned down, it turns out, the real estate mogul agrees with you.

“I think I could tone it down a little bit when pressed,” Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, in an interview published Wednesday. “I’ve had a great temperament. You couldn’t build a great business like I’ve built if you didn’t have good temperament but I think maybe I can sometimes tone it down. When somebody hits, you can hit a little less hard. At the same time that may be the kind of thing the country needs because we have to hit back hard to fight hard because we’re not going to have a country.”

READ: Biden: Trump’s ‘sick’ message is xenophobic

Pundits have criticized Trump for his words and tone about undocumented immigrants, women and his opponents.

But don’t expect him to lose all his explosive rhetoric on Wednesday’s debate stage. Trump also defended his tone, saying that harsh words are sometimes necessary.

“I’ve dealt with very tough hombres and very tough people and I’ve come out on top and I can understand the evangelicals to a certain extent saying, ‘well maybe he’s not as nice as we want him to be’ but they also want to see the country be great,” he said.

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