NY Gov. Kathy Hochul calls Donald Trump supporters ‘clowns’

Politicians from across the state reacted with outrage Friday to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul calling supporters of Donald Trump “clowns” after his massive Bronx rally Thursday, which drew a diverse array of supporters.

Hochul made the remarks while bragging to CNN’s Jake Tapper about her confidence in President Joe Biden’s electoral prospects in the Empire State.

“I’ll tell you what won’t make a difference at all Jake and that’s for Donald Trump to be the ringleader and invite all his clowns to a place like the Bronx,” Hochul said.

Jake Tapper and Kathy Hochul
“I’ll tell you what won’t make a difference at all Jake and that’s for Donald Trump to be the ringleader and invite all his clowns to a place like the Bronx,” Hochul said on CNN before Trump’s Bronx rally on Thursday. CNN

It didn’t take long for the governor’s opponents on the right to rip what they saw as yet another example of Democrat elitism, on par with Hillary Clinton’s notorious “basket of deplorables” comment made during the 2016 election.

“Oh ⁦[Kathy Hochul] first you say conservatives shouldn’t live in NY, then you say blacks don’t know what a computer is, now you call half the country “clowns”… your disdain for voters is matched only by your ability to put your foot in your mouth,” Rep. Michael Lawler (R-Rockland) posted to X.

“She needs to actually take some time to talk with her citizens,” Trump ally Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) told Fox News’ Kayleigh McEnany. 

“They are people that work hard every day. They are people who have toiled in the misery and some of the misery that frankly does occur in New York and they want something better.”

New York Conservative Party Chairman Gerald Kassar told the Post that he believed that Trump was more famillair with the area than Hochul.

“He has probably spent more time in the Bronx in his life she has spent in her life,” he said.

“You want to talk about New York City and make comments like that? Maybe she needs to spend more time outside of her ivory tower in midtown Manhattan.

Hochul’s comments immediately drew a wave of criticism, with some comparisons to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s infamous 2016 comment that many saw as a slight to Trump’s MAGA faithful.

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables,’” Clinton said at the 2016 Manhattan fundraiser hosted by LGBT groups. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.”

A statewide Sienna College poll earlier this year showed Trump with roughly the same amount of support amongst hispanic voters as Biden.

Sign that says
Supporters of Trump gathered in the Bronx Thursday for a rally with the former president. AFP via Getty Images

“Kathy Hochul is just upset that President Trump is pulling crowds in her state that she could only dream of; and Democrats are in disarray because Americans, including Hispanics and Blacks, are waking up to the fact that Joe Biden and the Democrat Party have been using them for votes and ripping them off for decades,” a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign told Fox News Digital.

Biden easily carried the Empire State in 2020 with just over 60% of the vote.

A spokesperson for Hochul’s campaign didn’t immediately return a request for comment Friday.

“Kathy Hochul has once again revealed her true colors, disparaging millions of New Yorkers and demonstrating a shocking level of intolerance and disdain for a significant portion of our state’s population,” a spokesperson for the state Republican committee wrote in a statement.

“Governor Hochul should immediately apologize to the New York City residents who attended last night’s rally simply because they believe in secure borders, safe streets, and oppose the Democrat policies that have made our city, state and nation less affordable, less livable and less secure,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island) wrote in a statement on Hochul’s remarks.

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