By Bonnie K. Goodman
Facing the heat of a backlash, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has decided to apologize for insulting half of rival Republican nominee Donald Trump’s supporters. On Saturday, Sept 10, 2016, Clinton issued a statement admitting regret and that she was wrong to call his supporters ‘basket of deplorable.’ What Clinton did not do was outright apologize, as Trump and his campaign called. Instead, the Democratic nominee criticized and attacked Trump and those working for his campaign.
In her statement, Clinton admitted, “Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ – that was wrong.” Clinton continued going on to attack Trump particularly his “campaign CEO Steve Bannon, formerly the chairman of Breitbart News.’ The Democratic nominee said, “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.”
Clinton also for the first time explicitly called Trump a racist. Clinton listed everything she believed Trump said or did during the campaign that was racist. The Democccratic nominee 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,” she continued. “So I won’t stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign.”
On Friday evening, Sept. 9, 2016, Clinton spoke at a fundraiser gala hosted by LGBT For Hillary in New York City where she called half of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s supporters a ‘Basket of Deplorables’ with ‘Hateful’ views. Trump responded expressing that Clinton’s comments were “disgraceful,” and a “grotesque attack on American voters.”
Trump’s campaign took advantage and repeatedly criticized Clinton’s remarks, including vice presidential running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. Quickly, within hours Clinton faced a backlash, with the hashtag #BasketOfDeplorables trending it was used over 150,000 times on social media.
After Clinton so-called apology, Trump issued a statement saying, “For the first time in a long while, her true feelings came out, showing bigotry and hatred for millions of Americans. How can she be President of our country when she has such contempt and disdain for so many great Americans? Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of herself, and this proves beyond a doubt that she is unfit and incapable to serve as President of the United States. I will be President for all of the people, and together we will Make America Great Again.”