Hillary Clinton is basically labeling Donald Trump an unrepentant racist — without flat-out saying it. Trump, meanwhile, is flat-out calling Clinton a "bigot" — but apparently without actually knowing what that word means.

At the least, Trump isn't making a real case that Clinton is a bigot. He's saying her policies are bad for African Americans and Hispanics, which quite simply isn't the same thing as being a bigot.

Check out this telling exchange from Trump's interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday night (emphases ours):

COOPER:  You called last night Hillary Clinton a bigot. Previously you called her policies bigoted. You directly called her a bigot.
TRUMP:  Well, she is a bigot because you look at what's happening to the inner cities, you look at what's happening to African Americans and Hispanics in this country where she talks all of the time. She's talking — look at the vets where she said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, that it's over-exaggerated what's happening to the vets not so long ago.
COOPER:  But how is she bigoted? Bigoted is having hatred toward a particular group.
TRUMP:  Well, because she's selling them down the tubes. Because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game but she doesn't do anything.
COOPER:  So you're saying she has hatred or dislike of black people?
TRUMP:  Her policies are bigoted. Her policies are bigoted because she knows they're not going to work.
COOPER:  Do you think she personally is bigoted?
TRUMP:  Well, she is. Of course, she is. Her policies. They're her policies, she comes out with the policies and others that believe like she does also. But she came out with policies over the years.  This is over the years, a long time. She's totally bigoted. There's no question about that.  Look at what …
COOPER:  But it does imply that she has antipathy, she has hatred toward, in this case I guess it's African Americans ...
TRUMP:  I think she has been extremely, extremely bad for African Americans. I think she has been extremely bad for Hispanics. You look at what has happened with her policies and the policies of President Obama and others.
Look at the poverty. Look at the rise in poverty. Look at the rise in violence.
COOPER:  But hatred is at the core of that, or dislike of African Americans?
TRUMP:  Well, or maybe she's lazy. I don't know what it is.  All I can tell you is I've been hearing the same stuff from her and others for years and the inner cities today are worse than they ever have been.

So Trump's case for Clinton being a bigot basically boils down to three things:

1) Her policies are bad for blacks and Hispanics.


2) She was too dismissive of problems with the Veterans Administration (?)

3) Things are really bad for blacks and Hispanics today.

None of those things actually speak to bigotry. Democrats have been arguing that GOP policies are/were bad for blacks and Hispanics for years, but that's far different from saying the motivation for those policies is bigotry.


Trump's case for Clinton's alleged bigotry is even weaker when he cites the current condition of black and Hispanics in the United States. Clinton hasn't had control over domestic policy in the United States since ... well, ever. She was first lady in the 1990s, when she was involved in some of her husband's policy initiatives, but wasn't generally in charge of them. She was a senator from New York, where she had a vote on such issues, but was one vote out of 100. And she was secretary of state for four of the last eight years, where her duties were foreign, not domestic. So if things are bad today, it's kind of hard to pin it on Clinton and any alleged hatred.


Trump also curiously cites the VA, saying Clinton's policies are bad for veterans. So is he saying she's bigoted against veterans, too?

No. He's saying her policies are bad for blacks, Hispanics and veterans and using a word that doesn't actually make sense. Trump simply isn't arguing or offering any evidence that Clinton actually bears ill will or hatred toward any particular group.

As with so many other attacks lodged against him during the course of this campaign, he's simply taking a negative label that has been slapped on him and attempting to muddy the waters by saying it also applies to Clinton. He's done this when it comes to his mental stability, his temperament and his qualifications to be president.

But he's not making a real case for Clinton's bigotry at all.