By Harper Neidig - 09-10-16 12:33 PM EDT
Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence responded to Hillary Clinton's remarks about Donald Trump's supporters being half a "basket of deplorables" on Saturday, blasting her for insulting "hard-working Americans."
Speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Pence said it was "extraordinary" that the Democratic presidential nominee would insult so many millions of Americans.
"Hillary Clinton's low opinion of the people who support this campaign should be denounced in the strongest possible terms," the Indiana governor said.
"The truth of the matter is that the men and women who support Donald Trump's campaign are hard-working Americans. Farmers, coal miners, teachers, veterans, members of our law enforcement community, members of every class of this country who know that we can make America great again," he said.
"So let me just say from the bottom of my heart, Hillary, they are not a basket of anything. They are Americans and they deserve your respect," he added, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd.
On Friday, Buzzfeed reported that Hillary Clinton told an audience at a New York City fundraiser that half of Trump's supporters can be grouped into a "basket of deplorables" that are "irredeemable."
"You know, just to be grossly generalist, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables," Clinton said. "The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic - you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up."
Pence said he had not heard "that level of disdain for America" since then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said in 2008 that working-class voters "cling" to guns, religion and certain prejudices.
"We must decide here and now that Hillary Clinton will never be president of this great nation," Pence said.