In a renewed effort to diminish her opponent, Hillary Clinton plans to deliver a speech this week in Nevada on the “disturbing” connection between Donald Trump’s campaign and the “alt-right,” a conservative movement often associated with white nationalism.
The address by the Democratic nominee, planned Thursday in Reno, follows news reports, including in The Washington Post, that the alt-right has been heartened by Trump’s candidacy, finding recent moves by the Republican to be consistent with its goal of maximizing the white vote in November.
The alt-right began with a speech the conservative writer Paul Gottfried gave in 2008, after the Republican Party’s electoral wipeout. Gottfried called for an “alternative right” that could defeat “the neoconservative-controlled conservative establishment.” That idea was soon adopted by the “identitarian” nationalist Richard Spencer, who founded an Alternative Right website, but it was also claimed by supporters of Ron Paul and conservatives who opposed multiculturalism.
But it was Donald Trump’s presidential campaign that brought the movement into the mainstream. From the moment he told a national audience that Mexico was sending rapists and drug-dealers across the border, Trump surged in the polls. He humiliated pro-immigration reform Republicans like Marco Rubio; he derided the Bush family’s national security credentials by arguing that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake.
Aides said Clinton’s speech is an attempt to go on the offensive again against Trump after weeks of mostly lying low as the businessman endured a series of controversies and missteps resulting in unfavorable news coverage and a drop in national and state polls.
Representatives of Trump’s campaign did not respond for comment Tuesday morning. In recent days, he has been hitting Clinton hard on issues related to her email controversy and foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation.