Republicans are hoping to get as much ammunition as possible out of a statement Hillary Clinton made during a New York "LGBT for Hillary" fundraiser on Friday where she called out the xenophobia perpetuated by some of Donald Trump supporters.
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ Right?” Clinton said to the crowd, according to the Washington Post. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”
While Clinton was greeted with laugher and applause at the event, which featured a performance by Barbra Streisand, Republicans saw an opportunity to stir up more resentment towards Clinton.
Wow, Hillary Clinton was SO INSULTING to my supporters, millions of amazing, hard working people. I think it will cost her at the Polls!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2016
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) September 10, 2016
By referring to millions of Americans as "deplorables" & "irredeemable," @HillaryClinton shows her contempt for ordinary people
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) September 10, 2016
Some Clinton opponents even compared her comments to Mitt Romney's "47 percent" gaffe, when the former Republican governor of Massachusetts helped sink his 2012 presidential campaign by saying nearly half of Americans want to leech off the government. Others see Clinton's statement as more reminiscent of Barack Obama's 2008 statement where he said certain Americans "cling to guns or religion."
Clinton's running mate, Virginia senator Tim Kaine, brushed off the accusations, saying Clinton correctly called out the campaign's embrace of the hateful alt-right — former chairman of right-wing conspiracy theory website Breitbart, as well as accused sexual harasser and former Fox News founder Roger Ailes, are currently running Trump's campaign. Trump himself has heaped blame on Mexican and Muslim immigrants for America's problems, and helped cement his political career by positioning himself as a "birther," and accusing Obama of not being American. Though Trump claims to be an LGBT ally, he does not support marriage equality or transgender rights and picked one of the most homophobic politicians in the country, Mike Pence, as his running mate. Both Trump and Pence appeared at the anti-LGBT "Values Voter" forum on Friday.
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