Kaine: Clinton doesn't need to apologize for 'basket of deplorables'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Air Force nominee: Setting up Space Force would be 'key imperative' GOP senators object to White House delaying home-state projects for border wall MORE (D-Va.) said Saturday his running mate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 is not a family affair, for a change New York Democrat pens op-ed on why he opposes impeaching Trump Rob Zombie on canceling 'The Hunt': 'A bulls–-- sacrificial lamb that solves nothing in society' MORE doesn’t need to apologize for her “basket of deplorables” comment about supporters of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Trump is failing on trade policy Trump holds call with Netanyahu to discuss possible US-Israel defense treaty MORE.

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“She said, 'Look, I’m generalizing here, but a lot of his support is coming from this odd place, that he’s given a platform to the alt-right and white nationalists,’ ” Kaine told the Washington Post.

“But then she went on to say, ‘Look, there’s also a number of his supporters that have economic anxieties, and we’ve got to speak to those.’ ”

At a fundraiser in New York City Friday night, Clinton told a crowd of donors that half of Trump’s supporters are “irredeemable” because of their bigoted views, but the other half are just looking to change the government because they feel it has “let them down.”

"You know, just to be grossly generalist, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables," Clinton said. "The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up."

Kaine said the comments won’t hurt the campaign’s chances to court Trump supporters who are on the fence “if it’s reported fairly that she kind of talked about both halves.”

“There are supporters we’re not going to get,” he said.

The vice presidential candidate went on to note the trend of white nationalists backing Trump and accused the mogul of elevating the “profile of some of these groups that are very, I think, dangerous.”

“But Hillary’s comments in full did make clear there are a lot of Trump supporters who have concerns about the economy and other issues that we will definitely need to be responsive to if we get the opportunity to govern,” Kaine said.

Clinton did offer an apology of sorts on Saturday, saying that she should not have generalized so much and condemned "half" of Trump backers, but she stood by characterizing aspects of Trump's campaign as "deplorable."