On Sunday, Hillary Clinton recalled President Donald Trump’s inauguration speech, saying that it was “a cry from the white nationalist gut.”
The former secretary of State and former first lady told CBS News’s Jane Pauley that it was a conundrum whether or not she should attend Trump’s inauguration. Pauley noted that “defeated candidates don’t necessarily show up, but you’re a former first lady.”
Clinton agreed. “It’s part of the demonstration of the continuity of our government,” so she went. But she didn’t have to like it.
“And so there I was, on the platform, you know, feeling like an out-of-body experience and then his speech, which was a cry from the white nationalist gut,” Clinton said.
The former first lady added, “What an opportunity to say, ‘O.K., I’m proud of my supporters, but I’m president of all Americans.’ That’s not what we heard at all.”
In this interview, Clinton undid any positive work to unify the country she had done at the inauguration. While there have been troubling connections between Trump and the white nationalist movement, he has nonetheless disavowed it — and the inauguration speech had no racist elements.
CBS News, perhaps attempting to bolster Clinton’s “white nationalist gut” comment, played a clip from the speech in which Trump lamented “American carnage.” Perhaps the phrase was crude, but it carried no racial message. Indeed, it seems telling that this was the moment CBS News chose to support Clinton’s claim.
In her concession speech, Clinton took the high road, urging Americans to give Trump “a chance to lead.” This weekend, however, she descended into Social Justice Warrior hysteria by inserting racism into one of Trump’s most important speeches.
With the streets of America crowded with violent antifa protesters — and a few hateful neo-Nazis and KKK members — Clinton on Sunday decided to stoke the flames, rather than following her own attempts to bring the country together.
She also doubled down on her “basket of deplorables” comment, again revealing just how polarizing the Democratic Party has become this year.
“Well, I thought Trump was behaving in a deplorable manner,” Clinton said. “I thought a lot of his appeals to voters were deplorable” (emphasis added). While she also mentioned the “Access Hollywood” tape, which indeed deserves the “deplorable” label, Clinton’s emphasis was on Trump’s appeal to his supporters, suggesting that indeed the millions who voted for the Republican were “deplorable.”
This also came after Sen. Al Franken compared a Christian legal organization to the Cambodian genocidal dictator Pol Pot, Dianne Feinstein attacked a Trump nominee for her Roman Catholic faith, and not long after one of Clinton’s favorite journalists suggested American evangelicals wanted to implement “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Furthermore, Clinton’s “white nationalist” comments should remind Americans that her party is calling for the removal of Confederate statues, a position at odds with the opinions of most Americans — and even a plurality of African-American voters.
If Democrats want to win in 2018, this is an odd way of going about it.
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