Republican frontrunner Donald Trump on Saturday admitted to the New York Times that he made a "mistake" two weeks ago by retweeting an unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz, the wife of his rival Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
"Yeah, it was a mistake. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have sent it," he told journalist Maureen Dowd of the paper.
The remorse was rare for Trump, reports CNN, noting he previously said he has never asked God for forgiveness. Likewise he told the news outlet last Tuesday that one of the most recent times that he can remember apologizing was when he apologized to his mother years ago for using curse words.
Trump's change of heart may be a sign of pressure, as he is predicted by polls to be trounced in Wisconsin primaries this Tuesday, trailing Cruz by at least ten percentage points.
According to a CNN poll last Thursday 73% of women voters nationwide hold a negative view of Trump, in a figure that may prove lethal for his presidential aspirations.
The real estate mogul's apology for the picture came regarding an incident two weeks ago, when an anti-Trump super PAC circulated a photo of Trump's wife Melania lying naked and handcuffed to a briefcase, which was originally taken in a GQ magazine photoshoot.
Trump blamed Cruz for the campaign, even though Cruz denied any connection and PACs or political action committees are prohibited by law from coordinating their efforts with candidates or their campaigns.
In response, Trump retweeted a compilation of an unflattering photo of Cruz's wife Heidi next to a touched-up picture of his wife Melania, a Slovenian-American jewelry designer and ex-model. Cruz slammed him for the move, calling him a "sniveling coward."
Punishment for abortion – or not?
The photo flap wasn't the only controversial move that Trump has rolled back in recent days as the polls shift in Cruz's favor.
Last Wednesday he received flack for saying that women who have an abortion should be "punished."
Within hours he changed his position by saying, "this issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination."
A short time later, he shifted again, saying, "if Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman."
"The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb," he concluded – just hours after he had called to punish such women.