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Senator John McCain Withdraws Support for Donald Trump

October 8, 2016, 10:26 PM UTC

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U.S. Senator John McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, became the latest Republican to officially withdraw his endorsement for Donald Trump. “I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated,” the Arizona Senator said in a statement. He added, “But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”

After the Washington Post published a 2005 recording in which Donald Trump made lewd comments about women, some Republican leaders said they would no longer support Trump, and a few have called on Trump to quit the race entirely. Trump issued an apology for his 11-year-old remarks (which many interpreted as condoning sexual assault) and said he had no intention of resigning.

Late Saturday, John McCain publicly withdrew his endorsement and said he would write in “some good conservative” who was qualified to be President. Here is the full statement:

“In addition to my well known differences with Donald Trump on public policy issues, I have raised questions about his character after his comments on Prisoners of War, the Khan Gold Star family, Judge Curiel and earlier inappropriate comments about women. Just this week, he made outrageous statements about the innocent men in the Central Park Five case.

“As I said yesterday, there are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.

“I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated. He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. I thought I owed his supporters that deference.

“But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy. Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me in this.

“Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President.”