After news broke Friday of Donald Trump’s lewd comments captured on a 2005 tape, Republican leaders have been moving fast to publicly distance themselves from the GOP presidential nominee.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus quickly issued a statement condemning Trump’s comments, and was quickly followed by House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan not only stated he was “sickened” by Trump’s comments from 2005; the speaker also disinvited Trump from appearing with him at a Wisconsin rally scheduled for today (though the speaker perhaps may have been surprised to hear chants from the crowd in support of the presidential nominee).
And the list of Republicans abandoning ship continues to grow.
Not surprisingly, former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — one of the most vocal high-profile #NeverTrump Republicans — didn’t mince words about the controversial Trump tape:
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
Mitt Romney’s predecessor, 2008 GOP nominee John McCain, also came out to withdraw his support and declare he would not be voting for Trump in November:
There are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive behavior. Cindy & I will not vote for him. My full stmt: https://t.co/MOw0rx4LSI
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) October 8, 2016
(Of course, McCain is in a tough re-election fight — a situation that one has to believe is driving much of the fast distancing being done by Republicans.)
The Bush family has been relatively quiet on the matter, with the exception of Jeb — whose brutal primary scuffles with Trump appear to have been irreparable:
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
Jeb’s father, George H. W. Bush, reportedly said previously he would support Hillary in any case, while Jeb’s brother, George W., has intentionally stayed mum on who he will vote for.
(BTW, in case you didn’t catch it, the Bush in the 2005 video of Trump that’s causing all the stir is none other than Jeb and George W. Bush’s first cousin, Billy Bush. Coincidence? Hmmm… )
However, one former Republican presidential nominee is not shying away from Donald Trump amid the controversy. Bob Dole, the 1996 nominee, told the Wall Street Journal he was not reversing his endorsement of Trump.
As the Washington Examiner reports:
While Dole, who is 93, said he has “great respect” for McCain, he looks at the whole situation “a little differently.”
“I’ve been a Republican forever. The party has been very good to me. I’ve had many opportunities as a Republican, and I find it very difficult to desert the party after Trump won 40 percent of the vote in the primary,” Dole said.
On the video, Dole stressed the fact that it is 11 years old.
“He shouldn’t have said it, but there’s nothing he can do about it except to do well in the debate. I think he can overcome a lot of this in the debate tomorrow night,” Dole said. “The Clintons aren’t pure either,” he added.
How about them apples? Some perspective from one of the party elders, who’s been around long enough to know what the Clintons are about first hand. Dole also shows a respect for the people — rather than a sense that he (or some other person the people had elected to serve them) knows better.
Interesting to note, also, that — unlike many of the others on the list who’ve publicly denounced Trump — Dole isn’t gearing up for any sort of further political future, so he’s free to state what he believes. As opposed to what he thinks he should be saying in the ultra politically correct environment that’s smothered important issues in favor of amplified outrage over comments someone made more than a decade ago.
Must say, it’s refreshing. What about you?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]