After the Friday release of a video from 2005 that contained a series of vulgar statements by Donald Trump about women, Republicans of all stripes denounced the language of their party’s nominee for President, as some elected Republicans took the next step to withdraw their support for Trump, even urging him to abandon the race for President.
“I am sickened by what I heard today,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was to have hosted Trump at an event in Wisconsin on Saturday – but basically uninvited the GOP nominee.
“No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” said Republican national chair Reince Priebus.
But While Ryan and Priebus stood by their support for Trump, others did not, like the Governor of Utah, Gary Herbert.
Soon after, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) became the first member of Congress to renounce his endorsement of Trump.
“It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine,” Chaffetz told a TV station in Salt Lake City.
Then, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) became the first to call on Trump to step aside as the Republican Party nominee.
“Mr. Trump should step aside,” Coffman said in a statement. “His defeat at this point seems almost certain.”
As for Trump, he released a video statement shortly after midnight, in which he downplayed his words from 2005 and went on the attack as well.
“I said it. I was wrong, and I apologize,” Trump said.
But Trump made clear that he wasn’t going to stay on defense.
“This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today,” Trump said, as he left open the possibility of using Sunday’s debate to attack both of the Clintons.
But it was obviously a big distraction for many Republicans in the Congress, as GOP lawmakers issued statement after statement condemning Trump.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump,” said Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), the third Republican to break with Trump on Friday night.
But Comstock also signaled something else: “I would never vote for Hillary Clinton.”