Republicans Distance Themselves From Trump After Video of Lewd Remarks: 'I'd Never Withdraw'
Top Republicans are distancing themselves from Donald Trump in the aftermath of the release of a 2005 tape in which the GOP presidential nominee makes several inappropriate remarks about women.
He also discussed his failed attempts with a married woman on the tape, among other things.
Trump released an apology in a Facebook video on Friday night.
“I’ve never said I’m a perfect person,” Trump said. “Nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret and the words released today on this more than a decade old video are one of them,” he said. “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am."
Here is my statement. pic.twitter.com/WAZiGoQqMQ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016
The presidential nominee also brought up Bill Clinton's sex scandals in his apology video and mentioned Hillary Clinton's role in 'bullying' the women who her husband allegedly had affairs with.
"I've said some foolish things, but there's a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims," Trump said.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, released a statement Saturday saying that he can't defend Trump's comments about women in the video.
“As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them,” Pence said in a statement.
Pence, however, did note Trump's apology. “I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people."
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has clashed with Trump in the past based upon some of the nominee’s controversial remarks said that Trump will no longer join him at an annual GOP-unity rally Saturday in Wisconsin.
“I am sickened by what I heard,” Ryan, Wisconsin, said Friday night after the tape was released and before Trump apologized. “Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”
Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican lawmaker and chairman of the House Oversight Committee has dropped his endorsement of Donald Trump in reaction the video.
“I’m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine," Chaffetz said in Fox13 interview. "He's put the party and this country in an awful place ... I get the sense this probably isn't the end of them. There might be more."
Chaffetz also stated in another interview that he wants GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence to lead the ticket.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee made his own Facebook video response to Trump’s apology and said Trump should end his candidacy.
“I respectfully ask you with all due respect, to step aside. Step down,” Lee said in the video. “I wouldn’t hire that person, wouldn’t want to be associated with that person… I certainly don’t think I would feel comfortable hiring that person to be the leader of the free world.”
Former Utah Gov. John Huntsman, who previously said he would vote for Trump changed his mind after watching the video.
“In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom — at such a critical moment for our nation — and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Gov. Pence to lead the ticket," Huntsman said.
Several other Republicans took to Twitter to express their disdain at Trump’s remarks.
Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America's face to the world.— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) October 8, 2016
As the grandfather of two precious girls, I find that no apology can excuse away Donald Trump's reprehensible comments degrading women.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) October 7, 2016
America deserves far better than @realDonaldTrump— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) October 7, 2016
Trump Tweeted Saturday morning that it "Certainly has been an interesting 24 hours!"
In spite of the backlash, Trump said in an interview with the Washington Post on Saturday morning that he will never withdraw from the race.
"I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life,” Trump told The Washington Post in a phone call from his home in Trump Tower in New York. “No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support.”
He claimed that people are calling him telling him not think about doing anything else but running.
Trump said that he will see everyone at the debate on Sunday.