In one fell swoop, the Trump campaign’s attempt to make political hay out of Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” remark crumbled at their feet.
Appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room, GOP Veep nominee Mike Pence refused to call the ex-Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan “deplorable” when pressed by host Wolf Blitzer. While Donald Trump was preparing to deliver an address in North Carolina where he’d do a full-frontal assault on Clinton for the weekend comments, even releasing the prepared remarks to the press, his running mate was busy creating a trap where there wasn’t one.
Wolf recited Clinton’s Friday comments to Pence, providing some context and pointing out that there are some supporters who would fall into a category that could be accurately described as deplorable. He brought up David Duke as an example and wanted to know if Pence would feel he fits that description. The Republican first hedged, stating that Trump has already denounced Duke’s support.
“As I’ve told you last time I was on, I’m not really sure why the media keeps dropping David Duke’s name. Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly. We don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of people who think like him.”
OK, fine. But you didn’t answer Wolf’s question. So, Mike Pence, are you willing to call David Duke deplorable?
“No, I’m not in the name-calling business, Wolf. You know me better than that. What Hillary Clinton did Friday night was shocking. The millions of people who support Donald Trump around this country are not a basket of anything. They are Americans, and they deserve the respect of the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.”
You couldn’t find an easier home-run pitch in an interview, Mike. Yet, here you are, swing right through it. Hell, Wolf gave you two chances, and YOU BLEW IT! Jebus Crikes. How the hell did you ever get elected to any office? I just don’t get it.
Clinton’s team sent out the following tweet, likely in disbelief that they were given this gift.
If you won’t say the KKK is deplorable, you have no business running the country. https://t.co/mFut8Qrz9A
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 12, 2016
The best part of that tweet is that Clinton was able to turn around Trump’s own recent statement on Hillary’s comments back on them.
The thought that “basket of deplorables” was going to hurt Clinton down the stretch is looking pretty funny right about now.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Media Matters: