Fallout from an 11 year old recording of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump making crude, sexually suggestive comments about women has deepened with multiple calls from elected Republicans for him to step down.
A growing number of Republican leaders, many of them elected to the House and Senate are in open revolt betraying discord within the party just a month before the election.
Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately.— Senator John Thune (@SenJohnThune) October 8, 2016
I will not vote for Donald Trump. Read my statement here: pic.twitter.com/F8zajgDZpg— Kelly Ayotte (@KellyAyotte) October 8, 2016
I can no longer endorse Donald Trump. Read my full statement: pic.twitter.com/lfa9mYZbdC— Senator Mike Crapo (@MikeCrapo) October 8, 2016
Donald Trump's behavior makes him unacceptable as a candidate for president, and I won't vote for him.— Rep. Martha Roby (@RepMarthaRoby) October 8, 2016
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/Ge7GU1TSvm
My thoughts: pic.twitter.com/1ck3UddzdR— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) October 8, 2016
John McCain has also pulled his endorsement, and ABC news reports Ted Cruz is considering doing the same.
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence initially remained silent after the tape was revealed, before releasing a statement today saying he was offended by the comments.
However, Pence stuck by his man, suggesting Trump has made amends by apologizing and that he was prepared to move beyond them.
“I do not condone his remarks and can not defend them.”
However, Pence did pull out of a scheduled joint Republican campaign event in Wisconsin today.
The furor has even prompted Trump’s wife to weigh in, with an official statement posted to the Trump website, in which she says “The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” before asking the American people to accept his apology as she has.
Despite multiple calls from within his own party, Donald Trump says he has no plans to step aside.
The Candidate characteristically took to Twitter this afternoon to make his plans clean in no uncertain terms.
If followed an interview with the Washington Post, in which Trump pledged to “never withdraw.”
“I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life.”
“No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support.”
The tape, shot on a bus by Access Hollywood and obtained by Washinton Post includes Trump talking about trying to sleep with a married woman, and groping and kissing women without consent.
“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss, I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”
After initially dismissing the comments as “locker room talk” Trump posted a midnight apology to social media in which he issued a rare apology for the comments, before attacking both Bill and Hilary Clinton on women’s issues.
“I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”
The scandal comes at a disastrous time for the Republicans.
The tape has put the party in disarray just a day before the crucial second Presidential debate.
Trump’s shaky performance in the first debate, and the ensuing week of off-message chatter focusing on his treatment of former Miss Universe, was widely seen as damaging his chances for the White House.
But the release has also taken oxygen away from a new Wikileaks release of emails deemed potentially damaging to Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton.
Excerpts from the documents, allegedly obtained from Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta appear to show the candidate making pro-Wall Street comments, in one case telling bankers at a private event they were best positioned to help make financial reforms.