Some senior Republicans and leaders on Saturday lined up to denounce presidential nominee Donald Trump for his incendiary remarks about women that he made in 2005, while some others blasted the remarks and demanded apology from Trump while not explicitly withdrawing support to him, CNN reported.
Some members said they wanted Trump to step aside so that his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, can lead the ticket, while many either said he was preferable over Democrat Hillary Clinton or did not address their support for him at all.
Pence on Saturday said he does not “condone” Trump’s remarks and “cannot defend them” but is “grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologised”.
Texas Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, tweeted he is “disgusted by Trump’s words” and is “profoundly disappointed by the race to the bottom this presidential campaign has become”.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said “there is absolutely no place” for Trump’s language in American society and that he “must” make a “full and unqualified apology”.
Top Trump surrogate Ben Carson said “in no way do I condone Trump’s behaviour” but he was “fairly certain” progressives knew about the magnate’s 2005 remarks but waited until now to damage his candidacy.
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise said “women deserve to be treated with respect. Period”, and that Trump should make “a direct apology”.
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a rising star in the party, called Trump’s remarks “lewd and insulting”.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul called Trump’s comments “offensive and unacceptable” — but a spokesman did not respond when asked if Paul was still going to vote for Trump.
Many have abandoned the New York billionaire and said they would not vote for him, slamming Trump over the remarks.
Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, who is up for re-election, on Saturday became the first sitting Republican senator to back away from Trump following the incendiary comments.
“This is not a decision that I have reached lightly, but his pattern of behaviour has left me no choice. His repeated actions and comments toward women have been disrespectful, profane and demeaning,” Crapo said.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (Rep, New Hampshire). who is also up for re-election, said she would not vote for Trump.
In August, Ayotte had said she would vote for Trump but not formally endorse him. Ayotte said on Saturday that she will instead be writing in Pence on Election Day.
Arizona Senator and former Republican Party nominee John McCain said Trump’s behaviour “makes it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy”.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared “Enough!” in a Facebook post, adding: “Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.”
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said Trump has “forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee”.
In the House, Alabama Rep. Martha Roby said on Saturday that she will not vote for him. Roby is from a safe district and is often featuring in GOP family friendly initiatives.
Maine Senator Susan Collins, who had said after the Republican National Convention that she would not support Trump, reiterated her stance that she is “still not voting for Hillary, and still plans to write in someone”.
Alabama’s Republican governor, Robert Bentley, said he “cannot and will not vote for Trump”.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman said he would instead vote for Pence.
Friday night, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz became the first sitting Republican congressman to pull his support for Trump in the wake of the 2005 video, which was surfaced by The Washington Post earlier in the day.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert on Friday became the first sitting Republican governor to withdraw his vote over the comments, which he called “offensive and despicable”.