Sen. Tim Kaine accused Donald Trump of “chumming around” with the the Klu-Klux-Klan, asserting that Hillary Clinton was merely talking about white supremacists when she referred to half of his supporters as a “basket of deplorables.”
“She advanced the notion that if you’re chumming around with the head of the Klu-Klux-Klan or people who had that title, that’s deplorable,” Tim Kaine said. “You gotta call that out.”
Kaine referred to a CNN interview with Trump’s running mate Mike Pence where he declined to describe former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke as a “deplorable” person, saying he had no interest in the “name-calling business.”
Duke has indicated his support for Trump, delighting Democrats who are eager to smear Republicans with his history of white supremacy.
But both Tim Kaine and Donald Trump had disavowed David Duke — even as the media repeatedly pesters both candidates about his support.
“I’m not really sure why the media keeps dropping David Duke’s name,” Pence said in the same CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer. “Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly. We don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of the people who think like him.”
Donald Trump has also denounced David Duke.
“David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years,” Trump said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in March. “I disavowed him. I disavowed the KKK. Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time? I disavowed him in the past, I disavow him now.”
But during his rally at the University of Michigan on Tuesday, Kaine continued to smear both Pence and Trump with the “deplorable” behavior exhibited by Trump’s supporters.
He challenged Trump for failing to call out “deplorable” supporters who demonstrated bigotry, racism, xenophobia, anti-LGBT and anti-immigrant behavior.
“If you can’t call it out, and you stand back and silent about it you’re enabling it to grow, you’re enabling it to become more powerful,” he said. “We want to be a nation of the positive virtues not the dark emotions and not the negative virtues.”