Anger among Republicans continues to rise after the release of a 2005 video recording of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump making lewd remarks about women, despite his apology.
“I said it. I was wrong and I apologize,” Trump said in a video that was posted on his Facebook page.
The brash billionaire defiantly dismissed the recording, however, as “nothing more than a distraction,” and hinted he would spend the rest of his campaign arguing that opponent Hillary Clinton has committed far worse misdeeds against women.
“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.
Struggle for white women’s support
Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, told CNN that Trump has always struggled to gain the support of white women with college degrees and this latest revelation “further cements his inability to win” that segment of the electorate.
Some leading Republicans, meanwhile, are beginning to withdraw their support for the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, after the video surfaced Friday. In it, Trump can be heard making bawdy remarks about groping and making sexual advances on women. Trump was married to his present wife Melania at the time of his conversation with an entertainment reporter.
The real estate and gambling developer has received only begrudging support from many in his party, and his lewd comments in the video have pushed some party leaders to declare they will not vote for him.
Some say they also will not vote for his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton either, leaving prominent Republicans in the precarious position of not voting for a president or casting votes for third party candidates who have virtually no chance of winning the race for the White House.
House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said he was “sickened” by Trump’s remarks and announced Trump would not attend an annual fall festival in Wisconsin; Ryan’s home state. Trump was scheduled to be there along with Ryan, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican Party.
Priebus said of Trump’s comments, “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner, ever.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “These comments are repugnant, and unacceptable in any circumstance… I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy also called on Trump to issue a “full and unqualified apology.”
Utah Senator Mike Lee called on Trump to drop out of the race, calling him a “distraction from the important issues we’re facing today.”
Senator Mark Kirk, who is up for re-election in a tight race in the state of Illinois, also tweeted that Trump should drop out of the race and the Republican Party “should engage rules for emergency replacement.”
Senator John McCain, who lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, said Trump “alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.”
Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who is chairman of the House oversight committee, said Friday he “can no longer in good conscience endorse (Trump) for president.” Chaffetz said Trump’s remarks in the video were “some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”
Gary Herbert, the governor of Utah categorized Trump’s statements as “beyond offense and despicable.”
New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte tweeted that she would not be voting for Donald Trump due to his “degrading and assaulting” of women.
Pollster: Comments will cause real damage
Pollster and conservative political consultant Frank Luntz said the episode would be costly for the Republican presidential nominee: “This one will cause real damage.”
Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton and her vice presidential running mate, Senator Tim Kaine also tweeted their disapproval and disgust.
Next debate – Sunday
Trump will meet his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in a televised debate on Sunday. – World News Report via EIN News