Clinton Regrets Calling 'Half' of Trump Backers 'Deplorable'
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton expressed "regret" for comments in which she said "half" of her rival Republican Donald Trump's supporters are "deplorable," meaning people who are racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic.
"Last night I was 'grossly generalistic,' and that's never a good idea. I regret saying 'half' -- that was wrong," Clinton said in a statement on Saturday in which she also vowed to call out "bigotry" in Trump's campaign.
The Democratic presidential nominee sparked an uproar late Friday when she described Trump's supporters at a fundraiser.
"To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables," Clinton said. "Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it."
She added, "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 then said some of these people were "irredeemable" and "not America."
She described the rest of his supporters as people who are looking for change in any form because of economic anxiety and urged her supporters to empathize with them, according to CNN.
The Democratic nominee made similar comments in an interview Thursday with an Israeli television station. But when they were widely reported Friday night, Trump and Republicans quickly pounced on the remarks, which drew comparisons to US President Barack Obama's comments about clinging to "guns and religion" at a 2008 campaign fundraiser and Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remark in 2012.
"Isn't it disgraceful that Hillary Clinton makes the worst mistake of the political season and instead of owning up to this grotesque attack on American voters, she tries to turn it around with a pathetic rehash of the words and insults used in her failing campaign?" Trump said in a statement. "For the first time in a long while, her true feelings came out, showing bigotry and hatred for millions of Americans."