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Trump stands up for backers even as rally scuffle breaks out

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally today in Asheville, N.C.

BALTIMORE » Donald Trump stood up for his supporters today against Hillary Clinton’s remark that half of his supporters belonged in “a basket of deplorables,” denouncing the comment as “an explicit attack on the American voter” and suggesting that it makes her unfit for the presidency.

But even as Trump defended his backers, one lashed out at protesters in the hall by appearing to punch and slap them. Trump talked through the scuffle.

“While my opponent calls you deplorable and irredeemable,” he said in Asheville, North Carolina, “I call you hard-working American patriots who love their country and want a better future for all our people.”

But his rally was interrupted several times by demonstrators and, at one moment, brief violence. As several protesters were being escorted out by security, a man in the crowd grabbed a male protester around the neck and then punched him. He then slapped at a woman being led out. The Trump supporter was not ejected by security.

The celebrity businessman talked through the scuffle but cracked after the disturbance, “Is there any place more fun than a Trump rally?”

No stranger to making his own sweeping negative characterizations of large groups of people, Trump nonetheless deployed Clinton’s remark as the foundation for a new campaign theme. The message: Clinton is divisive, while Trump is the only candidate representing “all Americans.”

“You cannot run for president if you have such contempt in your heart for the American voter,” Trump said. “You can’t lead this nation if you have such a low opinion of its citizens.”

In a speech earlier today to the National Guard Association conference in Baltimore, Trump said Clinton’s comments were aimed at those in uniform, whether in the military or in law enforcement.

“These were the people Hillary Clinton so viciously demonized,” said Trump, who demanded that Clinton issue a full apology. “She divides people into baskets as though they were objects not human beings.”

Clinton has said she regrets using the term, “half,” to describe the proportion of Trump supporters she considers “deplorables.” But she didn’t back down from describing his campaign as largely built on prejudice and paranoia.

The comments, though, combined with Clinton’s health scare Sunday at the 9/11 memorial — she was captured on video struggling to step into a waiting van and her doctor later announced that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia — could reshape the race, in which Clinton holds slim leads in several battleground states. Trump, who has long questioned Clinton’s fitness for the presidency, was notably restrained on the health matter, saying he hopes Clinton feels better soon.

A new ad, set to air in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, is squarely aimed at the voters the Trump campaign says Clinton is vilifying.

“You know what’s deplorable? Hillary Clinton viciously demonizing hard working people like you,” concludes the ad.

Clinton, who has said she is the candidate to unify a divided country, made the “deplorables” comment at a fundraiser Friday night in New York. She has made similar comments recently, including on an Israeli television station.

“To just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it,” she said, before stressing that other Trump supporters are frustrated and need sympathy.

Trump and his aides have predicted that Clinton’s statement would be more damaging than the gaffe to which it has been frequently compared, when Mitt Romney four years ago suggested that “47 percent” of voters wouldn’t back him because they were dependent on government.

But Trump has also attacked Americans who don’t intend to vote for him.

When he trailed Dr. Ben Carson in the polls last December in Iowa, he mocked his opponent’s claim that he had tried to stab a family member only to fail after the blade hit a belt buckle.

“How stupid are the people of Iowa?” he asked. “How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?”

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  • This is the kind of violent, hair trigger people who Trump has lifted up out of the internet sewers where they have bene hiding. Violent imbeciles. This is his base.

    Congratulations.

  • “You cannot run for president if you have such contempt in your heart for the American voter,” Trump said. “You can’t lead this nation if you have such a low opinion of its citizens.”

    Wow wow wow. This from the man who has belittled (time after time after time)
    every group of people in the USA, except for some of the white ones.

    Wow.

  • No matter how many little mistakes Clinton makes, Trump always “trumps” her with even more ignorant, alienating stuff.

    Fortunately, his ignorant, irrational admirers are in the minority. It is worrisome that they make quite a large minority. But for now the smarter side will win in November.

  • Hope we keep having this discussion until election day, because it is true that some of his supporters are exactly what Clinton said they are.

    It was wrong for her to say 50%, but it is also true that Trump sets the bar for this select bunch of supporters. And that bar is set so low almost anything remotely credible from his camp cannot rise above it.

  • If Trump and Pence and their supporters refuse to say that David Duke is deplorable, then they themselves are deplorable. If you support the racist, white nationalist, misogynist candidate who refuses to say the David Duke is deplorable, then you, too, are deplorable.

        • By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times – Updated: 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2016
          Bryan Pagliano, who helped maintain Hillary Clinton’s controversial email server, defied a congressional subpoena and refused to appear for a hearing Tuesday looking into the setup and deletion of her secret email account.
          House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he’s going to figure out what options he can pursue, but said Mr. Pagliano is evading Congress.
          “When you are served a subpoena from the United States Congress, that is not optional,” he said.
          Three other witnesses involved in Mrs. Clinton’s server did show up for the hearing. Two of them refused to testify, asserting their rights against self-incrimination.

  • Sounds like more Democrats using race to justify their ideology. Hasn’t changed much since slavery yes? Hasn’t changed much since Robert Byrd was a Democrat Senator yes? Since many Democratic run cities in the US keep the African American population in the same ghettos for more than 50 years while doling out welfare and free stuff. Yes? Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama both used the south side of Chicago for their own personal aspirations and how has that side of town benefited? One thing to note. Democrats have much to hide in this area so they will cry racist every chance they get. It’s the look at them not at me theory. I have a feeling this old 60’s method of pulling the wool over the electorates eyes isn’t going to work this time. Democrats think everyone that doesn’t think the way they think are…Well.. Pick a name….Sorta reminds me of the cults back in the day. The useful idiots, as termed by Saul Alinsky, get all fired up and do the dirty work of the elites. Be aware. Keep your eyes wide open. Many a country has gone down this road. All Americans of every race need to take government back from the hands of lifetime politicians.

  • Not deplorable, huh?? here is an extraordinarily clear example of deplorable:

    Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has not forgotten the Jefferson quote. Speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington over the weekend, the Republican recalled it while suggesting that a Hillary Clinton victory in the presidential election could necessitate bloodshed:

    I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically. But that may, in fact, be the case….

    Somebody asked me yesterday, I did an interview, “Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive, that we’d ever be able to recover as a nation?” And while there are people who have stood on this stage and said we would not, I would beg to differ. I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood of who? The tyrants, to be sure, but who else? The patriots.

    Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something that we, through our apathy and our indifference, have given away. Don’t let it happen.The Atlantic

    Utter nonsense, hyperbole and pugilistic ranting–that has at its core–polemic dogma and fear mongering.

  • Trump a man who has done nothing for working people and people of color during the last 70 years, wants to be their champion. Please he has done absolutely nothing for these groups, it’s like Colonel Sanders being the champion of chickens.

    How does it feel to be a black or Hispanic Republican this year, and to see Mr. Trump rise to the top of your party?

    “If I were to sum it up in one word, the word is depressing,” said Charles Badger, who oversaw outreach to black voters for Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. Mr. Trump, he said, “has sent the party back to, I don’t know, the Stone Age — it’s that bad.”

    In 2004, Massey Villarreal was the national chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. His work helped President Bush earn 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, a height unmatched by Republican nominees since.

    Mr. Villarreal was another member of Mr. Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council. And, like Mr. Monty and other members of the council, Mr. Villarreal resigned after watching Mr. Trump’s speech in Phoenix.

    “It was a nativist, xenophobic speech,” Mr. Villarreal said in a text message. “The enforcement-only speech is of no real value to America.”

    In conversations with disaffected Republican operatives, one question arose over and over: Who is the real Donald Trump? And does it matter if he acts one way in private, and another way in public?

    “I don’t know whether Donald Trump is a racist or not,” said Mr. Badger. “What I know is that he plays a racist on TV, and that’s actually much, much, much worse.”

    Mr. Monty said he found it worrisome that Mr. Trump acted one way in private and another way in front of a crowd.

    “In person he’s humble — ‘I hear you, I want to learn,’ — but you can’t turn it off like that,” said Mr. Monty. “There’s clearly a pattern here, and that’s not good. That’s not leadership.”

    Ron Christie remembers being one of the few black Republican staff members on Capitol Hill in 1991, when he worked for John Kasich, then a representative from central Ohio. He went on to work for Vice President Dick Cheney, and then as a special assistant to President Bush. He said Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a “disaster” for his party.

    “The Republican Party that I started off with in 1991 died when Donald Trump received the nomination,” he said.

    As Mr. Trump neared the nomination, the Republican National Committee experienced an exodus of black and Hispanic staff members. Orlando Watson, a spokesman who specialized in dealing with the black news media, left in March, as did Kristal Quarker-Hartsfield, the national director of African-American initiatives. Tara Wall, a senior strategist for media and engagement, who did black outreach for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, also departed.

    Ruth Guerra, the committee’s director of Hispanic media, left in June to work for a conservative “super PAC,” and was reported to have told colleagues she felt uncomfortable working to get Mr. Trump elected. The party hired Helen Aguirre Ferré, who had been a senior adviser to Jeb Bush’s primary campaign, to replace Ms. Guerra. Ms. Ferré had to delete negative tweets she had written about Mr. Trump during the primary.

    Republican strategists are worried about Mr. Trump’s impact on their ability to win over Hispanics, and for good reason. From 2000 to 2014, the United States-born Hispanic population grew by 70 percent, to 36 million from 21 million. A recent poll found that only 19 percent of Latino voters (and just 1 percent of black voters) supported Mr. Trump.

    Lionel Sosa is not in that 19 percent. This veteran political consultant said he became a Republican after watching Dwight D. Eisenhower accept his party’s nomination in 1952.

    “He sounded a lot like my dad talking about personal responsibility,” Mr. Sosa said. “I thought, ‘Man, I’m a Republican!’”

    Mr. Sosa has worked on eight Republican presidential campaigns, writing and producing political advertisements aimed at Hispanic voters. This will be the first Republican presidential campaign in 32 years that he hasn’t worked on, he says, because Mr. Trump doesn’t respect Latinos like himself.

    “When he says ‘Make America Great Again,’ to me, it means, ‘Make America White Again,’ make it the way it used to be when there were only other people like ‘us’ in this country,” Mr. Sosa said. He plans to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, in November.

    Mr. Badger said Mr. Trump’s candidacy would create a hole in the party “that will take generations to climb out of.”

    “We are receding more and more and more into just being a white Southern party that’s really only viable in Western Plains states and the Deep South,” he said. “By definition, that makes you not a national party.” NYT

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