Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently released a campaign ad attacking Hillary Clinton for her ‘basket of deplorables’ comment, but who is the real deplorable candidate?
Mr. Trump’s most recent campaign ad takes a jab at his opponents recent comments at a fundraiser in New York that “half” of his supporters could be put in what she calls the “basket of deplorables.” The Republican presidential candidate has been vocal about his disapproval of the comment and, with this campaign ad, seems to be exploiting it for his own political gain.
Strategically, Mr. Trump is working to frame the comment to show that Clinton is ostracizing many “hard working Americans.” As such, his ad seems to be part of his continued effort to garner support from undecided or on-the-fence voters.
Clinton has since responded publicly to those that have been critical of her comment, saying:
“Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ — that was wrong,”
However, Clinton then shifted the conversation to her opponent, claiming that he is truly the deplorable candidate.
In a New York Times op-ed published on Monday, Charles Blow perfectly characterized one way in which Clinton’s comments — though not a wise political move — are justified.
“Donald Trump is a deplorable candidate — to put it charitably — and anyone who helps him advance his racial, religious and ethnic bigotry is part of that bigotry. Period. Anyone who elevates a sexist is part of that sexism. The same goes for xenophobia. You can’t conveniently separate yourself from the detestable part of him because you sense in him the promise of cultural or economic advantage. That hair cannot be split.
Furthermore, one doesn’t have to actively hate to contribute to a culture that allows hate to flourish.”
To be sure, Clinton’s comments were not good for her campaign. The manner in which she apologized — like that she apologized for the “half” portion of her comment, not the “basket of deplorables” — may also hurt her campaign. However, it would be ignorant to say that her comments are unfounded. While Donald Trump may continue to exploit Clinton’s gaffe until the November election, it shouldn’t be lost on the American public that Mr. Trump has actively pandered to bigoted Americans since he first launched his presidential bid.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.