Hillary Clinton has said what many of us have been thinking all along, but could it cost her the election?
On Friday night, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee spoke at an LGBT fundraiser, where she stated that half of Donald Trump’s supporters can be placed into a “basket of deplorables.”
“To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton said, according to Daily Mail. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it.”
She continued, “And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.”
Clinton has since apologized for part of her comments, but Trump quickly called her out for making what he believed to be “the biggest mistake of the political season.”
“And she even really doubled up because it was said with such anger and such unbelievable anger, and I think this is the biggest mistake of the political season,” Trump said on Fox News’ Fox and Friends.
Trump then went on to actually make a very good point: If Clinton is elected president, she would still have to be the president of his supporters, so she was wrong to slam them.
“Well, remember this: You’re going to be president, you are president of all the people,” Trump explained. “You’re not president of 50 percent or 75 percent. You’re president of all the people you’re president of everybody and somehow it has to get out there that, you know, it’s not a certain group of people that’s going to be left behind. Or they have already left behind with jobs and lots of other things.”
Some voters and reporters stated that Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment could be the equivalent to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” mishap, where he said, according to News Observer, that there are 47 percent of Americans “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”
Romney added, “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Many believe that this comment costed Romney the 2012 election, and Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” gaffe could do the same for her.
While Trump is right that Clinton was wrong to speak about his supporters the way she did, he is the one at fault for creating this perception about them. When he did not disavow David Duke of the Klu Klux Klan, when he called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and when he proposed a ban of Muslim immigrants from entering the country, he made many Americans believe that he and his supporters are filled with hatred towards minority groups.
Unlike Romney, Clinton’s comments are likely to not cost her the election. Instead, it will create even more of an ugly, bitter divide between those who support Clinton and those who support Trump.