Donald Trump invited several of his supporters on stage at a rally in Asheville, North Carolina to let Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton know what they think of her “basket of deplorables” comment.
Given the opportunity, these North Carolina Trump supporters did not pull their punches.
As CBS reported:
“How can you be president for so many people? She talks about people like they’re objects, not human beings,” Trump said in North Carolina Monday.
But Trump did not do all the talking. He brought supporters on stage to testify and subtly assail Clinton.
“My wife and I represent non-deplorable people,” one supporter said.
“Do I look deplorable?” another said.
“No!” a supporter responded.
The Hill offered this account, noting that the supporter quoted by CBS is African-American, a detail CBS failed to report:
“While her campaign slanders you as deplorables and irredeemables, I call you hard-working Americans patriots that love your country and want a better future for all our people,” Trump said Monday night. “You are everybody. Above all else, you’re Americans and you’re entitled to leadership that honors you, cherishes, you and totally defends you.”
The real estate mogul was then joined by a handful of supporters who took the stage to explain who they are and why they are supporting Trump.
One African-American couple came up to the microphone and said that they’ve been serving in public education for a combined 85 years.
“My wife and I represent non-deplorable people,” the man said. “We are not racists at all.”
Another woman used her time on stage as an opportunity to bash Clinton.
“I am probably a lot of things, deplorable is not one of them I assure you,” she said, adding that, “Hillary needs to take a nap.”
Trump thanked the supporters as they exited the stage, saying, “These people are so representative of people throughout our country,”
At a fundraiser at which Barbra Streisand performed on Friday, Clinton said Trump supporters fit into two baskets. In the “basket of deplorables” she put “racists, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic” voters. In the other basket she said were people who are “desperate for change.”
Clinton added that Trump supporters in the “basket of deplorables” are “irredeemable.”
Later that evening, Clinton attempted to walk that comment back, but merely recalibrated the percentage of Trump supporters who belong in that “basket of deplorables” as some number other than “half.:”
I regret saying “half”–that was wrong.
On Monday, Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon, a 34-year-old graduate of Harvard who is married to President Obama’s former director of the Office of Legislative Affairs, doubled-down on Clinton’s general point in an appearance on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, as the Hill reported:
A Clinton official said that while the nominee has expressed regret over her phrasing, there are at least some Trump supporters her campaign considers to be in the “deplorables” category.
“What should she have said? Ten percent? Twenty percent? Five percent? What would have been a more accurate number?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon on his show.
“I don’t know, Wolf. It’s certainly a non-zero number,” Fallon responded.
On Tuesday, Trump running mate Mike Pence called on Clinton to “fully retract” her “basket of deplorables” comment.