Stephanie Cutter believes that Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton really made a mistake in her Friday evening “basket of deplorables” statement about Republican nominee Donald Trump’s supporters at a fundraiser in New York City when she limited the “basket” to “half” of them.
On Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC, Cutter, the former 2012 Obama presidential campaign manager and short-lived cohost of CNN’s failed attempt to revive Crossfire a couple of years ago, made it clear that she believes that far more than half, and perhaps all, of Trump’s supporters belong in that “deplorables” basket containing people Mrs. Clinton described as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.“
Cutter’s no stranger to mean-spirited, shameless dishonesty. Here are just a few samples:
- In July 2012, on several occasions, she alleged, without anything resembling credible basis, that 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney may have committed a felony by misrepresenting his degree of involvement with Bain Capital in previous filings with Uncle Sam’s Securities and Exchange Commission.
- After Obama’s reelection, after Obama For America morphed into the (cough, cough) “nonpartisan” Organizing for Action, Cutter authored an email excoriating Republicans for supporting the mild reductions in spending (too tilted towards defense, but mild overall) that were on the verge of being automatically triggered, and asking members to get on Republicans’ backs about it. She was still serving as Obama administration attack dog, whipping up antagonism while Obama publicly pretended that the sequester wasn’t that big of a deal. (It also shouldn’t be forgotten that sequestration was Obama’s idea.)
- Cutter never backed away from the absolutely absurd claim she made in August 2012 that during the Obama administration “over the past, you know, 27 months we’ve created 4.5 million private-sector jobs. That’s more jobs than in the Bush recovery (or) in the Reagan recovery.”
So it’s not at all surprising that Cutter would choose to suggest that Mrs. Clinton’s characterization of half of Trump’s supporters as belonging in a “basket of deplorables” was far too low. What disappointing, but sadly not surprising, is that the rest of the Meet the Press panel and host Chuck Todd basically let her garbage slide:
Transcript (beginning at 0:02; bolds are mine):
CHUCK TODD: Stephanie, it’s tough to defend the remark, is it or no? Do you think it’s tough to defend the remark “deplorables” to stereotype a group of people or not?
STEPHANIE CUTTER: Absolutely not. I think that her only mistake is that she said “half” of his supporters were deplorable. Does anybody around this table, have they not seen Trump’s rallies, have they not seen Trump’s own remarks? He is attracting a certain type of voter. She gave a whole speech on describing them. They’re called the “alt-right.” And they, they tweet racist things, he retweets them, he says it from the stump.
From research in this election, we know his own words calling Mexicans rapists, criticizing a Gold Star family, these are the most potent things against him with independent voters. So what she said was not wrong. Her only mistake is she described half of his supporters that way.
As seen, Cutter, right on the edge of declaring that all Trump supporters are “deplorables” (after all, she was asked a question about whether it’s defensible “to stereotype,” but was already speaking when Todd finished his question) was daring the panel to directly disagree with her. No one did.
Though a generous reading would indicate that the other panelists don’t believe that and that Mrs. Clinton made a factual and strategic mistake, the full program transcript shows no direct pushback against Cutter by co-panelists (or is it co-cowards?) Todd, David Brooks, Tom Brokaw or Audie Cornish.
People with Cutter’s attitude — and there is no shortage of them on the left, though they rarely acknowledge it as publicly as Cutter has — have a seething contempt (a synonym for “hatred”) for anyone who disagrees with them, and clearly would silence them — or worse — if given half a chance, and the likes of her co-panelists would appear to be willing to let it happen rather than put up resistance and risk being tarred with the same brush.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.