Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has stepped up efforts to wring maximum advantage from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s comment that his supporters are “deplorables” as he seeks to portray her as out of touch with ordinary Americans
Clinton said in a speech last week that half of Trump’s supporters belong “in a basket of deplorables” and accused them of being racist and homophobic. She later said she regretted the remark.
Trump hammered Clinton over the comment, in a post on Facebook on Tuesday: “What a disgraceful thing to say about fellow- hard working Americans! Vote Trump on November 8th — keep Hillary’s HATE away from Washington, D.C.”
Trump will bring up the comment again at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday, his aides say, as he campaigns in the Midwestern swing state for votes at the Nov. 8 election.
Controversy over the remark came at a bad time for Clinton, who was forced to cancel a West Coast swing due to a bout of pneumonia that she kept secret until she nearly collapsed after a ceremony in New York on Sunday marking the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Trump himself has come under fire for rhetoric against minorities during his campaign, including describing Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, suggesting a judge could not be fair because of his Mexican-American heritage, and proposing a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the United States.
After struggling in opinion polls in August, the real estate magnate has erased most of Clinton’s lead in national surveys and is competitive again in many battleground states where the White House race is likely to be decided.
In Washington, Trump’s vice presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, used Clinton’s comment to try to build more unity among Republicans, appearing at a news conference with Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the top U.S. elected Republican.
“I think millions of Americans were shocked and saddened to see Hillary Clinton refer to people across this country as a basket of deplorables in a prepared speech before wealthy donors in New York City on Friday night,” Pence said.
The “deplorables” comment featured at a Trump rally in Asheville, North Carolina on Monday which saw a resumption of some of the violence that disrupted his events earlier this year.
“Never in history has a major party presidential candidate so viciously demonized the American voter,” Trump told the crowd just before a small protest against him broke out.
An apparent Trump supporter grabbed a male protester’s neck then clenched his fist and punched him, video from NBC and ABC showed. The protesters were then escorted out.
Asheville’s Citizen-Times newspaper said four people were arrested at the rally. The Buncombe County clerk’s office confirmed the names of three arrested adults in the article but could not confirm the location of the arrests.
Clinton was resting at her home in Chappaqua, New York on Tuesday. She is expected to return to the campaign trail later this week. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, is to campaign in Philadelphia on behalf of Clinton on Tuesday.
Trump will propose in a speech on Tuesday night allowing families to deduct the cost of childcare expenses from income taxes, his campaign said, a move aimed at bolstering his support among women voters.
It was formulated with the aid of Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, an influential voice in his campaign.

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