From fisticuffs in upper-level bleacher seats to dueling ads on the airwaves, a feud over “deplorables” has taken center stage in the presidential campaign.
At a rally in Asheville, North Carolina, Monday night, Donald Trump continued slapping back at Hillary Clinton for calling “half” of his supporters “a basket of deplorables.” Meanwhile, one of those supporters was in the stands literally slapping protesters.
Video captured by ABC News shows a rally attendee hitting and slapping several protesters as they were being removed from the event. The man grabbed one protestor by the neck and took a swing at his face.
The unidentified slapper remained at the rally and was not arrested, CNN reports.
Back onstage, Trump made Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment a focal point of his remarks, telling around 7,000 of his supporters, “Hillary Clinton has been running a hate-filled, negative campaign with no policy, no solutions and no new ideas. She spoke with hatred in her heart for these working-class Americans.”
“While she calls you deplorable, I call you hard-working American patriots who want a better future for our country.”
Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump: ‘We Were Not Friends’
Clinton and Trump have been feuding for days over who’s “deplorable” after the Democratic nominee said at a Friday fundraiser: “You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ The racists, sexists, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”
Clinton later apologized, saying her comment was “grossly generalistic” and adding, “I regret saying ‘half.’ ”
But Trump feasted on the moment, and even created a new ad called “Deplorables” in which the narrator says: “You know what’s deplorable? Hillary Clinton viciously demonizing hard working people like you.”
On Tuesday, the Clinton campaign fired back with an ad of its own that featured a clip from a speech Trump gave in Baltimore Monday, in which he said of Clinton: “You can’t lead this nation if you have such a low opinion for its citizens.” The ad then asks “What’s Donald’s opinion of our citizens?” and highlights some of his most controversial insults, including “How stupid are the people of the country?”; “We’re building a wall, he’s a Mexican”; and “She’s a disgusting pig.”
The “deplorable” feud raged on as Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, declined to use the word to describe former KKK leader David Duke in an interview on Monday.
After CNN’s Wolf Blizter asked Pence whether he would call Duke “deplorable,” the vice presidential nominee replied, “No, I’m not in the name-calling business, Wolf. You know me better than that.”
“I’m not really sure why the media keeps dropping David Duke’s name. Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly,” Pence said. “We don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of the people who think like him.”
But Pence’s denouncement wasn’t enough for Clinton, who took to Twitter to pounce on his comments. “If you won’t say the KKK is deplorable, you have no business running the country,” she tweeted.