BALTIMORE (CNN) — Donald Trump is pouncing on Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” remark at a fundraising event over the weekend, launching a new ad Monday and saying that the jibe was the “single biggest mistake of the political season.”
Trump told the National Guard Association’s annual conference in Baltimore that Clinton’s comments disqualify her from public service.
“You cannot run for president if you have such contempt in your heart for the American voter,” she said. “You cant lead this nation if you have such a low opinion of its citizens.”
The Republican presidential nominee also told “Fox and Friends” earlier that he couldn’t believe the remark when he first heard it.
“At first I thought it wasn’t within the realm of possible that she said it,” he said. “She doubled up, because it was said with such anger, such unbelievable anger, and I think this is the biggest mistake of the political season. I really do. When I saw this in its full form, and I saw the anger with which she said it, the way she spoke, I think it’s the single biggest mistake of the political season.”
Released at about the same time was a new ad, which blasts the Democratic nominee’s comment and accusing her of “viciously demonizing hard-working people.”
The campaign ad will run throughout the week on broadcast and cable TV beginning Monday, backed by a $2 million ad buy in battleground states Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.
In the ad, a narrator hits Clinton for making the comment while “speaking to wealthy donors” before playing video of Clinton’s remarks. “People like you…you…and you…’Deplorable,'” the narrator says over video of Trump supporters.
“You know what’s deplorable? Hillary Clinton viciously demonizing hard-working people like you,” the ad closes.
The GOP nominee is also expected to hammer Clinton over the “deplorables” line when he speaks in Baltimore on Monday afternoon, a campaign official said.
Clinton had sparked an uproar late Friday when she described Trump’s supporters at a fundraiser. “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton said. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”
Clinton later expressed “regret” on Saturday for saying that half of Trump’s supporters were deplorable.
“Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ — that was wrong,” Clinton said in a statement in which she also vowed to call out “bigotry” in Trump’s campaign.