By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – The journalist Michael Kinsley put it best when he said: “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.” And while Hillary Clinton has apologized for saying half of Donald Trump supporters were bigots, there’s no denying that his campaign has attracted some borderline characters. But this gaffe continues to reveal truth about Clinton and Trump now that it’s the focus of dueling campaign ads.

A new Trump TV ad simply rehashes Clinton’s claim that half of Trump’s backers belong in a “basket of deplorables,” and adds this tag line: “You know what’s deplorable? Hillary Clinton viciously demonizing hard-working people like you.” This is fine if your goal is to further disgust voters who are already so disgusted with Clinton that they’d sooner vote for Satan for president. But it’s hard to see how this ad helps win over undecided voters.

Perhaps more focus on the rest of her comment, where Clinton seemed to write off the other half of the Trump base as just a bunch of confused people, might have been more productive.

Meanwhile, a new Clinton web ad strings together some of Trump’s more notorious insults, of Mexican-Americans, women, a disabled reporter, and U.S. prisoners of war, then throws in his face Trump’s remark that “you can’t lead this country if you have such a low opinion of its citizens.”

This will excite Clinton partisans, but does nothing to explain why she might be a preferable choice.

These ads tell us that both campaigns intend to stay negative, setting up the prospect that the debates will be a contest to prove which candidate is less deplorable than the other. Inspirational, isn’t it?

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Comments (26)

    1. Marcus Tullius Cicero says:

      Jordan, I see that you still haven’t mastered the “caps Lk/unlk” key. Keep at it, it will come!

      My nonsense Latin skills are getting a little rusty, so I’m not understanding your last phrase.

      But in the spirit of nonsense phrases, let me just say: Semper ubi sub ubi.

      Good advice.

      1. bees_knees_6 says:

        Priceless. Thanks for the morning smile!

      2. mstarvin says:

        To quote the Go-Go Gophers….”What him say…what him say??”

    2. republican cowards says:


      1450 Worcester Road, Waterview Terrace PH unit 8607, Framingham, MA 01702, USA

      Work Phone
      Cell Phone

  2. Bengals2 says:

    Cue the “My Candidate is Better than yours” comments.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      I don’t think you are going to see a whole lot of that but I’ll get the popcorn out just in case.

      1. Bengals2 says:

        I’ve got Orville Redenbacher here locked and loaded……

  3. Steve Stein says:

    I think this has to be the strategy when both candidates have such high negatives. Convincing someone that the other candidate is worse is a lot easier than convincing them that you’re better.

    1. The Owl says:

      Stong point, Steve.

      It is interesting to consider that eah candidate thinks that portrying the other as vastly worse will improve their own numbers.

      It’s a somewhat perverse view, but in this compaign, perverse has taken over.

      1. Steve Stein says:

        I think the strategy being employed by both (all?) candidates is NOT meant to “improve their own numbers” but to depress the others’ numbers. This wouldn’t ordinarily be a good strategy (negativity is not that popular), but with both major candidates unpopular with >50% of the electorate, it might be the best strategy available.

        It’s possible that the debates will make people think “hey, this candidate is not as bad as I thought”, but I don’t think that’s the way it’ll play out. The images people have in their heads are pretty firm by now.

    2. Bengals2 says:

      I think you’re spot on, Steve. It would appear that depressing the others’ numbers is kind of what today’s political landscape has evolved into. Pretty sad if you think about it.

  4. Concerned American says:

    This is the inevitable result of having two rich New York liberals to choose from, because liberals’ M.O. is always to demonize their opponents since their ideas can’t succeed on their own merits.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      I agree – a conservative, especially a member of the tea party, would never demonize anyone.

      “……………………………..I’m going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology text book, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.”

      It only gets better from there.

      1. mstarvin says:

        And Hillary is not pathological?? She can’t even help that her first response, even regarding a cough, is to lie!!!

    2. bees_knees_6 says:

      marvinO – please do try to keep up to the conversation. Now be a dear and go back and reread the entire conversation. Here, let me help a bit. I was not denigrating Trump. I was making a point to CA. Now see if you can figure what the point was ;)

      1. mstarvin says:

        The point is that you are in the bag for Hillary no matter how much of a liar and evil person she is shown to be……and also it highlights the point on your head….see what I did there??

      2. bees_knees_6 says:

        It amuses me but fools no one that when you are wrong, which you are repeatedly, MO, that you insult in an attempt to deflect from your ineptness. And how typical for you to believe you are the only person who will cast the perfect vote.

      3. mstarvin says:

        Trump is far from the perfect vote but compared to Hillary he is George Washington!! I was going negative to stick with the story line however it seems humour is lost on the ignorant….

  5. The Owl says:

    Did you think that either candidate would get off the negative track, Jon?


    You pokitical skills are showing a degree of wear these days, sir.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      Have we ever had one that cannot move past negative? I’m trying to recall if Sanders fell into the trap only at the end of his campaign but at this point I’m trying hard, without much success, not to listen to any of them.

      1. bees_knees_6 says:

        can move…..

    2. The Owl says:

      Lieberman and Cheny had an excellent conversation during THEIR debate. Not a single zinger; no name calling, substantive policy and principled…and reasoned…disagreement.

      And given the state of discourse amongst those younger thant Lieberman and Cheey, the prospects for civil election in the next decade or so are not good.

      In this election. It is wise to remember the mantra of the Clintons and their followings when James Carville was running the political show” “Parse the statement and attack the attacker.”

      It’s as if Carville never retired….

  6. paul dowd says:

    His supporters like that Trump “tells it like it is”. When Sec. Clinton tells it like it is, that half of Trump supporters can go into the “basket of deplorables” they get all whinny and insulted. The only part she may have gotten wrong is the portion. What is not deplorable about voting for a blatant racist? They want to elect this guy and not own any of his obvious faults. They want to go hand-in-hand with David Duke and the KKK into the voting booth and elect a national disgrace and then assume no responsibility for what it would do to the country and world. They would hand over the environment, the oceans and atmosphere to energy companies and have no answers for their children and grandchildren when they ask why there is no more clean water and air. Trump is deplorable and supporting him for president is deplorable or ignorant.

    1. mstarvin says:

      What is deplorable is those who pretend that Hillary is not a racist, liar, thief, or ignore the fact that her and her husband left a trail of dead bodies in their wake.

  7. republican cowards says:

    Trump supporter punches woman at rally, well it was actually 2 different cowards, typical weak old white men that like Trump.

    Tom A Vellanti Jr

    402 Cinnamon Way
    Flat Rock, North Carolina
    Phone: (828) 693-4221

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