BBC News : US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has apologised for calling half of Donald Trump’s supporters “deplorable” people.
But the Democrat launched a furious attack on her Republican opponent and promised to keep fighting “bigotry and racist rhetoric”.
Mr Trump had responded by saying the comment was “insulting” to “millions of amazing, hard working people”.
Opinion polls suggest Mr Trump is gaining on Mrs Clinton.
The rivals are neck and neck in the key battleground states of Ohio and Florida.
Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comments have drawn immediate comparisons to Mitt Romney’s 2012 line about 47% of Americans on government dole supporting Barack Obama and Mr Obama’s 2008 characterisation of downtrodden Pennsylvanians as clinging to guns and religion.
Unlike those noted gaffes, however, it is not clear how Mrs Clinton’s public remarks will directly damage her. She is certainly unlikely to peel off any of Donald Trump’s supporters by calling some of them racists or homophobes, but they have stuck by their man through thick and thin. Mrs Clinton’s own backers likely agree with her description.
The only question is how the sizable chunk of undecided voters view the controversy. They had started to move toward Mrs Clinton after the Democratic convention but are recently back up in the air or aligning with a third party. They may take exception to Mrs Clinton’s calling fully half of all Trump supporters – millions of Americans – deplorable, which is why she has walked back this portion of her comments.
If the debate turns over how many of Mr Trump’s backers are overtly racist or bigoted, however, that is political terrain the Democrat will gladly fight on.