Hillary Clinton slammed Donald Trump on Thursday as a purveyor of insidious racism and hatred, while promising to represent all Americans if she wins the presidency — "not just people who agree with me, not just people who vote for me."
In a radio interview broadcast as Clinton returns to active campaigning after a pneumonia diagnosis, she acknowledged the tightening race in swing states but said, as she did last week, that she always expected a close election. Clinton implored the predominantly African American listeners of the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" to vote, saying, "This is not one you can sit out."
Clinton was not asked about her comment Friday labeling about half of Trump's supporters as belonging in a "basket of deplorables," but she repeated the argument she made then minus the provocative language.
"For people who have legitimate concerns about what's happening in our economy, what's happening in their lives, we should get together and address those," Clinton said.
"That's why I emphasize we've got to help people who've been let down and left behind," she said, "so that people know we see you, we hear you. But we will not tolerate racism and sexism and the misogyny, and Islamophobia, xenophobia, the terrible anti-immigrant rhetoric that Trump has engaged in, and that violence is never the answer to anything."
Clinton had expressed regret Saturday for painting Trump's supporters with too broad a brush.
Clinton steered wide of any discussion over criticism levied at her by former secretary of state Colin Powell in leaked emails published Wednesday. Powell had written that Clinton spoils anything she touches with “hubris,” and complained that she was blaming him for setting a precedent of using a private email account while in government.
“I have a great deal of respect for Colin Powell, and I have a lot of sympathy for anyone whose emails become public,” Clinton said. “I’m not going to start discussing someone else’s private emails. I’ve already spent a lot of time talking about my own, as you know.”
She also declined to say whether she would ask President Obama to pull the stalled Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland if she wins, clearing the way for her own choice. A host suggested perhaps a black woman in the place of the white Garland.
"We should stick with one president at a time," Clinton said. "If I have the opportunity to name any Supreme Court appointments, I'm going to look broadly and widely for people who represent the diversity of our country, who bring some common sense, real world experience."