- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 10, 2016

GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said Saturday that Hillary Clinton disrespected millions of hard-working Americans when she described a broad swath of Donald Trump’s supporters as “irredeemable,” arguing that it is more proof the Democrat is unfit to be the 45th president of the United States.

“Hillary Clinton’s low opinion of the people that support this campaign should be denounced in the most strongest terms,” Mr. Pence said at the Values Voters Summit here in Washington.

“No one with a record of failure at home and abroad, no one with her avalanche of dishonesty and corruption and no one with that low opinion of the American people should every people elected president of the United States of America,” Mr. Pence said. “We must decide here and now that Hillary Clinton will never be president.

Mr. Pence’s appearance here came less than 24 hours after Mrs. Clinton was asked at a fundraising event in New York to weigh in on Mr. Trump’s popularity.

“To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it,” she said.

Mrs. Clinton said some of those people are “irredeemable” and said the other half of Mr. Trump’s supporters “feel that government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures.”

On Saturday, Mr. Pence countered that Mr. Trump’s base of support is comprised of hard-working Americans, including farmers, coal miners and military veterans.

“So let me just say from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “Hillary they are not a basket of anything. They are Americans and they deserve respect.”

For those that had yet to catch Mrs. Clinton’s comments, the emcee of the summit, Gil Mertz, played a video snippet from the fundraiser on a big screen for the audience after Mr. Pence’s address.

“I hated to do that to do you right before lunch,” Mr. Mertz said. “Anyway we will be hearing more about that. That is going to be a powerful moment that is going massively viral.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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