Pittsburgh, PA — At a recent paid speaking engagement in suburban Pittsburgh, former Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton went off-script to criticize Ayn Rand’s 1957 Objectivist novel Atlas Shrugged as “a boyish fantasy not grounded in reality, but rather a comic book tale.” The comment, which largely drew silence from the mostly working-class crowd in attendance, sparked criticism from several Republicans.
“It’s no secret that I give out Atlas Shrugged as Christmas gifts,” said Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. “And I read it with my kids at bedtime. Ayn Rand’s thinking is sorely needed now as the government continues to intrude on people’s lives. We are indeed living in Atlas Shrugged. But not Dagny Taggart’s world. It’s the moocher world where they demand high taxation, big labor, government ownership, government spending, government planning, regulation, and redistribution. If that makes me boyish, Secretary Clinton, then I’m proud of it.”
As for reaction to Ms. Clinton’s off-script rant, sources close to the former candidate said in private that they “wish Hillary would just stop tripping on her own dick,” implying that the well-worn political candidate has a knack for improving her overall unfavorable ratings.
During the 2016 campaign, Ms. Clinton got into some hot water by saying half of Donald Trump supporters would fit into something called a “basket of deplorables.” Despite no one understanding what such a metaphorical basket might look like, each time she makes a gaff like this, the Donald Trump campaign at the time and his enthusiastic supporters pounce on her malapropisms to rally the faithful.
“And now she’s attacking people who read big books,” said Donald Trump at the time, talking to an angry crowd of over 20,000 in Michigan. “How stupid does she think you are? Crooked Hillary thinks you are stupid. Very stupid. Well, let me tell you, we know the truth that these eggheads don’t. I am your Ayn Rand comic book hero.” At which point, the crowd cheered.
Clinton spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri did offer a clarifying statement today on Ms. Clinton’s website.
“Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton referred to fans of the iconic 1950s novel Atlas Shrugged as being ‘boyish.’ That was wrong. But let’s be clear what’s really ‘comic book’ like is that Donald Trump hired a major advocate got the so-called alt-right movement to run his campaign and that David Duke and other white supremacists see him as the champion of their values. It’s deplorable that Trump has built his presidency largely on prejudice and paranoia and given a national platform to hateful views and voices, but also extremely dangerous economic policies.”