- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton received mixed reactions Friday night over remarks made at a campaign event in New York City.
At the LGBT for Hillary gala, the Democratic presidential nominee said that “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables … The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it.”
Clinton’s comments reflected on the tone of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – one that has, at times, emboldened some of America’s most extreme groups.
“And he has lifted them up,” Clinton said. “He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people – now have 11 million.”
“He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric,” she added, referring to the multiple times the real-estate mogul has engaged with alt-right racists online.
The former US secretary of state dedicated an entire speech last month to calling out alt-right groups – a segment of conservative voters who hold unfavorable views toward minorities.
As Clinton’s comments gained traction online, campaign spokesman Nick Merrill tweeted “obviously not everyone supporting Trump is part of the alt right, but alt right leaders are with Trump. And their supporters appear to make up half his crowd when you observe the tone of his events.”
- AP Photo/Richard Drew
Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment loosely resembled musings that 2012 GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, made during a private meeting with donors in September of that year.
At the time, Romney claimed that 47% of voters would choose Barack Obama “no matter what,” because those are people who “are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. … These are people who pay no income tax,” Romney said.
The Trump campaign condemned Clinton’s remarks late Friday night, claiming she “ripped off her mask and revealed her true contempt for everyday Americans.”
Clinton did add that not all of Trump’s supporters are irredeemable.
“That other basket of people,” she said, “feel that the government has let them down – the economy has let them down … those are people we have to understand and empathize with, as well.”