During a Monday afternoon speech, Donald Trump again slammed Hillary Clinton for recently claiming that half of his supporters were racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic and belonged in a "basket of deplorables." The GOP presidential nominee asserted that this statement "disqualifies her," adding, "you can't lead this nation if you have such a low opinion of its citizens." Clinton had already said that she regretted the comment (though the generalization, while perhaps politically awkward, was not inaccurate). But Trump was still looking to exploit the remark. Earlier in the day, Trump's campaign released an ad bashing Clinton for having insulted tens of millions of Americans by calling them "deplorables." (Two days earlier, Donald Trump Jr. and Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidante, retweeted a tweet that mockingly celebrated themselves, the elder Trump, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Rudy Giuliani, and a white nationalist mascot as "The Deplorables.")
Despite Trump's purported outrage over the Clinton remark, the mogul has engaged in his own demonization of Americans that has echoed the "47 percent" comment that landed Mitt Romney in trouble during the 2012 campaign. More than once, the reality television celebrity has dismissed tens of millions of Americans -- up to half of all Americans -- as shiftless people with no desire to work.