Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Face the Nation, Slate's Jamelle Bouie -- also a CBS political analyst -- asserted that Hillary Clinton was "correct and accurate" to deride half of Donald Trump supporters as "deplorables," linking them to racism, sexism, and xenophobia.
Host John Dickerson recalled that, even though the Democratic nominee's campaign slogan of "Better, Stronger Together" has a unity theme, she nevertheless contradicted that theme by devoting a speech to attacking people in the general population who plan to vote for Trump. Dickerson:
So, Jamelle, the question here is, Hillary Clinton on the one hand talks about "Better, Stronger Together," so her unity has been her message. It's on her plane, for goodness sakes. On the other hand, she gave a speech -- not a gaffe, but a full speech -- about the connection of Donald Trump to the Alt Right. So this is both a gaffe from which she must retreat and also strategy. How do you see it?
Rather than seeing her comments as a gaffe, Bouie began by pondering whether she was telling the truth by attacking Trump voters
I'm inclined -- so I'm inclined to see it as strategy and not so much as a gaffe because when I heard the remark, well, my first question was: Is this true? Right? Regardless of how it sounds, what it looks like, is it ac -- what is the case about Donald Trump supporters? And if you break down the numbers and you look at the RealClearPolitics average, and it gives Trump up about 43 percent of registered voters. So it's about 30, 31 million people.
The liberal CBS political analyst bolstered Clinton's claims as he added:
Compare that to polls that show 65 to 70 percent of all Republicans who say Barack Obama either wasn't born in the United States or is a Muslim. You look at pilot data from the American National Election Study, and it shows upwards of 40 percent of Republicans saying things like, "Blacks are more violent, blacks are lazier, Muslims are more violent, Muslims are lazier." Among Trump supporters in particular, 60, 50, 70 percent of them agree with statements political scientists categorize as being explicitly racist.
Bouie concluded that the Democratic candidate was merely being "accurate" in her assessment:
So I'm looking at Clinton's statement, and half -- which is about 31 million people again -- doesn't really seem that out of bounds; 40 to 50 percent of Republicans, I would say, looking at the full spectrum of data, agree with beliefs that we would categorize as explicitly prejudiced. So regardless of whether or not Clinton needs to walk it back or not, I think she's being correct and accurate.