Clinton's 'deplorables' gaffe touches off merch, meme frenzy

Just days after Hillary Clinton said she regretted calling half of Donald Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables,” some of those supporters are embracing the title -- while enterprising web retailers seize the moment by quickly churning out a line of "deplorables" merchandise.

Clinton made the comment at a fundraiser Friday, saying "you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables," and calling them "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it."

Clinton walked back the remark the next day, with some commentators comparing it to Mitt Romney's "47 percent" gaffe.

Some pro-Trumpers, however, are adopting the "deplorable" name on social media, or at least having a lot of fun with it. One Internet meme that zipped around showed a doctored version of a poster for the 2010 movie “The Expendables,” replaced with key figures of the Trump campaign and conservative media, with the banner “The Deplorables.”

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone tweeted out the image Saturday, which features a cast of rogues including Stone, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and "alt-right" mascot Pepe the Frog.

Others put their own spin on it, sharing images with the hashtag #BasketOfDeplorables.

Perhaps sensing a movement, a number of retailers began selling T-shirts and other merchandise that allows the “deplorables” to advertise themselves as part of Clinton’s despised group.

A T-shirt available for purchase on the Howie Carr Show’s website declares “Proud to be a Deplorable” while e-commerce website Etsy has a host of merchandise from various sellers, including mugs that label the drinker a founding member of “The Fraternity of the Basket of Deplorables” and a pendant that says simply: “Call me Deplorable – Trump 2016.”

This Sept. 12, 2016 screenshot shows merchandise from the e-commerce site Etsy

This Sept. 12, 2016 screenshot shows merchandise from the e-commerce site Etsy (

So far, there’s no such merchandise on the Trump website, but given Trump’s background as a savvy businessman, a “Deplorable” section can't be ruled out.