Hillary Clinton on Saturday issued a statement saying that she regrets saying that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are in what she called a “basket of deplorables.”
“Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ — that was wrong,” Clinton said in a Saturday afternoon statement.
But Clinton would not fully back down from the comments she made at a Friday night fundraiser.
“But let’s be clear, what’s really ‘deplorable’ is that Donald Trump hired a major advocate for the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement to run his campaign and that David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values. It’s deplorable that Trump has built his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia and given a national platform to hateful views and voices, including by retweeting fringe bigots with a few dozen followers and spreading their message to 11 million people,” she said. “It’s deplorable that he’s attacked a federal judge for his ‘Mexican heritage,’ bullied a Gold Star family because of their Muslim faith, and promoted the lie that our first black president is not a true American.”
“So I won’t stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign,” she continued in the statement. “I also meant what I said last night about empathy, and the very real challenges we face as a country where so many people have been left out and left behind. As I said, many of Trump’s supporters are hard-working Americans who just don’t feel like the economy or our political system are working for them.”
During a fundraiser Friday night, Clinton broke down Trump supporters into two groups, labeling half of his backers a “basket of deplorables.”
“To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it,” she said. “And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up … he tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.”
Her remarks prompted swift condemnation from Trump, and his campaign called on Clinton to apologize.