Democrat Hillary Clinton will accuse Donald Trump of embracing a brand of U.S. political conservatism associated with white nationalism and nativism when she makes a Nevada campaign stop on Thursday.
Aides said Clinton will link Trump’s statements about immigration and religion to the rise of a political fringe movement in the U.S. known as the “alternative right”, which opposes multiculturalism and immigration.
Clinton’s speech is an effort to keep attention focused on what a top aide called Trump’s “divisive and dystopian vision” as he tries to reverse his slumping position in opinion polls in key battleground states before the Nov. 8 presidential election.
Her campaign said Trump’s recent installation of a new campaign leadership team was no indicator that he would move away from past statements criticizing the objectivity of an American judge of Mexican heritage or proposing to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.
“Trump’s newly installed brain trust,” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said in a statement, “completes Donald Trump’s disturbing takeover of the Republican Party.
“Republicans up and down the ticket are going to have to choose whether they want to be complicit in this lurch toward extremism or stand with voters who can’t stomach it,” he said.
Trump’s campaign declined to comment on Clinton’s campaign speech, but at a Mississippi rally on Wednesday, the Republican nominee called Clinton a “bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings.”
Trump is set to meet with African-American leaders in New York City on Thursday and said he would unveil an immigration proposal within the next two weeks.
In comments broadcast on Fox News on Wednesday night, Trump backed farther away from his hardline stance on deporting millions of illegal immigrants, saying he would be willing to work with those who have abided by U.S. laws while living in the country.
When asked by CNN to respond to Trump’s charge that she was a “bigot” on Wednesday evening, Clinton said he was “taking a hate movement mainstream.
“He’s brought it into his campaign. He’s bringing it to our communities and our country,” Clinton said. “I will have more to say about this tomorrow.”
Her campaign cites Trump’s decision to bring on Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon as his new campaign chief as a sign Trump is strengthening his ties to the alternative right movement.
During Bannon’s tenure, Breitbart News increased its coverage of alt-right issues, and Bannon told the magazine Mother Jones during the Republican National Convention last month that the website was “the platform for the alt-right”.
The term “alt-right” is used to describe a faction of political conservatives that have used the Internet in recent months to advance views of white supremacism, anti-Semitism and nativism.
(Reporting by Amanda Becker; editing by Mark Heinrich)