- Sean Gardner/Reuters
Donald Trump’s campaign has come out swinging after Hillary Clinton said half of her opponent’s supporters fell into a “basket of deplorables,” but GOP lawmakers don’t seem to want to join in the lambasting, The New York Times reports.
The Democratic presidential nominee walked back her comment on Saturday, but the Republican campaign has already released an ad skewering her for it, and Trump has called her out for it in statements and speeches.
Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, met with Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to build party unity and encourage them to help the Trump campaign criticize Clinton for the remark, The Times reports, citing anonymous sources who had knowledge of the meetings.
GOP members of Congress, however – including Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Ted Cruz of Texas – were apparently unwilling to comply.
Also describing a larger refusal among GOP lawmakers to fully embrace Trump, the Times article described hesitancy related to the Trump ticket’s reluctance to denounce former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN Monday, Pence danced around using the word “deplorable” to characterize Duke, insisting Clinton should “retract the entire statement” about the “deplorables” “without qualification.”