World

Clinton regrets calling Trump supporters 'deplorable'

Less than two months remain before the electio
Less than two months remain before the electio

US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has apologised for calling half of Donald Trump’s supporters “deplorable” people.

But the Democrat launched a furious attack on her Republican opponent and promised to keep fighting “bigotry and racist rhetoric”.

Mr Trump had responded by saying the comment was “insulting” to “millions of amazing, hard working people”.

Opinion polls suggest Mr Trump is gaining on Mrs Clinton.

The rivals are neck and neck in the key battleground states of Ohio and Florida.

What she said on Friday

Speaking at a fundraiser in New York, Mrs Clinton said: “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables’. Unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

They were, she told the LGBT event, “racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it”.

The rest of the Republican nominee’s supporters, according to Mrs Clinton, were “just desperate for change”.

How the Republicans reacted

In his tweeted response, Mr Trump said, “I think it will cost her at the polls!”

Mr Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, said: “They are not a basket of anything. They are Americans & they deserve your respect.”

Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, said Mrs Clinton had shown “her outright contempt for ordinary people”.

Millions of Americans, he said, supported the Republican nominee because they were “sick of corrupt career politicians like Hillary Clinton”.

Other Republicans mocked Mrs Clinton, sharing photos of the crowd in the Florida venue where Mr Trump spoke on Friday.

The hash tag #BasketOfDeplorables has been trending on social media as indignant Republicans attack Mrs Clinton.

“A candidate who writes off half the country as a #BasketOfDeplorables should be disqualified”, was one comment on Twitter.

What Clinton says now

Apologising, Mrs Clinton said: “Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ – that was wrong.”

“As I said,” she added, “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.”

But for most of the statement, she attacked her rival, accusing him of building “his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia” and giving 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”.

“David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values,” she said in the statement.

It was, she said, “really deplorable” that her Republican opponent was linked to people from the right-wing “alt-right movement”.

Mr Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, said: “They are not a basket of anything. They are Americans & they deserve your respect.”

Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, said Mrs Clinton had shown “her outright contempt for ordinary people”.

Millions of Americans, he said, supported the Republican nominee because they were “sick of corrupt career politicians like Hillary Clinton”.

Other Republicans mocked Mrs Clinton, sharing photos of the crowd in the Florida venue where Mr Trump spoke on Friday.

The hash tag #BasketOfDeplorables has been trending on social media as indignant Republicans attack Mrs Clinton.

“A candidate who writes off half the country as a #BasketOfDeplorables should be disqualified”, was one comment on Twitter.

What Clinton says now

Apologising, Mrs Clinton said: “Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ – that was wrong.”

“As I said,” she added, “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.”

But for most of the statement, she attacked her rival, accusing him of building “his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia” and giving 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”.

“David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values,” she said in the statement.

It was, she said, “really deplorable” that her Republican opponent was linked to people from the right-wing “alt-right movement”.

Source BBC

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