Donald Trump’s lewd comments about women—from a 2005 conversation published on Friday—proved a step too far for some Republicans who called for the GOP presidential nominee to drop out of the race.
Many Republicans quickly condemned the remarks, in which Trump brags about hitting on a married woman and groping women, saying “you can do anything” to women “when you’re a star.” The recording was published Friday by the Washington Post.
“Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” Trump said in an apology video early Saturday morning, calling the footage a “distraction” from important issues. “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”
Several GOP leaders said they will no longer vote for Trump, as others called for him to step down. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said in a CNN interview that he can no longer support Trump, calling his comments “abhorrent” and criticizing his apology as insufficient.
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who had supported Trump, said she will write in vice presidential candidate Mike Pence on election day.
“I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women,” Ayotte said in a statement.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who had long withheld his endorsement, said Saturday that he will not support Trump on Election Day.
“Nothing that has happened in the last 48 hours is surprising to me or many others,” Kasich said in a statement. “The actions of the last day are disgusting, but that’s not why I reached this decision, it has been an accumulation of his words and actions that many have been warning about. I will not vote for a nominee who has behaved in a manner that reflects so poorly on our country. Our country deserves better.”
These are some of the Republicans who have called for Trump to drop out:
South Dakota Sen. John Thune:
Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk:
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse:
Utah Sen. Mike Lee:
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake:
Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer:
Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo:
Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina:
Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman:
“For the good of the country, and to give the Republicans a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump should step aside,” Coffman said in a statement, according to CBS Denver. “His defeat at this point seems almost certain. And four years of Hillary Clinton is not what is best for this country. Mr. Trump should put the country first and do the right thing.”
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman
“In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom — at such a critical moment for our nation — and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket,” Huntsman told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki:
Rob Engstrom, national political director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former director of the Division of Political Education at the Republican National Committee:
Republican strategist John Weaver:
A.J. Spiker, former chairman of Iowa’s Republican Party:
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Martin Daugaard:
Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host who previously endorsed Trump: