Hillary Clinton Recalibrates Percentage of Trump Supporters in ‘Basket of Deplorables’

Hillary Clinton
The Associated Press

In an awkward walk back of her Friday night comments that “you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables,'” Hillary Clinton said in a statement, “I regret saying ‘half’ — that was wrong.”

Clinton’s attempt to walk back her original comment raises the obvious question: What percentage of Trump supporters does she now think are a “basket of deplorables”?

On Friday night, Clinton said Trump supporters fit into two baskets. In the “basket of deplorables” she put “racists, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic” voters. “But the other basket …are people…just desperate for change,” she said, as NBC reported:

Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but they are not America but the other basket … are people who feel that government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures. They are just desperate for change … they don’t buy everything he says but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different.

Presumably, half in the deplorable basket is now too many, according to Clinton (although perhaps she meant it was too few).

Hillary Clinton should tell America exactly what percentage of Trump supporters she now believes fit into that “basket of deplorables.”

Is it ten percent or forty-nine percent, in her view?

If it’s ten percent, then 90 percent fit in the “desperate for change basket.” If it’s forty-nine percent, it’s a parsing that represents  little difference from one half.

NBC reported on the original “basket of deplorables” quote, delivered by Clinton  while “[a]ppearing at an LGBT gala fundraiser where Barbra Streisand performed.”

To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.

And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up … he tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.

Politico reported the failed walk back late Friday night:

Hillary Clinton partially walked back comments she made on Friday night, describing half of Donald Trump’s supporters as “deplorables” who were driven “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” sentiments.

“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.

Huffington Post reported on Clinton’s walkback in a story titled “Clinton Stands by ‘Deplorables,’ But Walks Back the Basket Size a Bit”:

Hillary Clinton on Saturday expressed regret for saying half of Donald Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables” the previous evening — but pledged to continue to call out the bigorty and racism of the Republican nominee.

“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 released by her campaign. Clinton added it was “deplorable” that Trump had hired former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon, a champion of the so-called alt right, and brought fringe racism and hatred into the mainstream.

You can read the full walk back statement tweeted out by the Hillary Clinton campaign here:

 “Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ ― that was wrong.

But let’s be clear, what’s really ‘deplorable’ is that Donald Trump hired a major advocate for the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement to run his campaign and that David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values.

It’s deplorable that Trump has built his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia and given a national platform to hateful views and voices, including by retweeting fringe bigots with a few dozen followers and spreading their message to 11 million people.

It’s deplorable that he’s attacked a federal judge for his ‘Mexican heritage,’ bullied a Gold Star family because of their Muslim faith, and promoted the lie that our first black president is not a true American. So I won’t stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign. I also meant what I said last night about empathy, and the very real challenges we face as a country where so many people have been left out and left behind.

As I said, many of Trump’s supporters are hardworking Americans who just don’t feel like the economy or our political system are working for them.  I’m determined to bring our country together and make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top. Because we really are ‘stronger together.’”

Breitbart News emailed the Clinton campaign to learn what percentage of Donald Trump’s supporters she now believes fit in the “basket of deplorables” but did not receive a response.