A GROWING list of Republicans are walking away from their nominee Donald Trump after his vulgar comments about women as party chiefs meet to work out where to from here.
The outrage stems from a 2005 video in which Trump is caught on a hot mic making vulgar comments about women, saying he can have whoever he wants because he is a “star” and even said when he sees attractive women he likes to “grab them by the p***y.”
Early look at tomorrow’s front page
What Trump said he liked to do to attractive women: “GRAB THEM BY THE P—Y” https://t.co/HPZdvyep1p pic.twitter.com/cYd9IRB4sP
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 7, 2016
Utah Senator Mike Lee, who was floated as a possible Supreme Court nominee by Trump, released a video on Facebook shortly after Trump’s apology that excoriated the former reality TV star.
“It’s occurred to me on countless occasions today that if anyone spoke to my wife or my daughter or my five sisters like the way Mr. Trump has spoke to women, I wouldn’t hire that person, I wouldn’t want to be associated with that person,” Sen. Lee said, The New York Post reports.
“You, sir, are the distraction. Your conduct is the distraction … Mr. Trump, I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside. Step down.”
Virginia Republican Barbara Comstock also called for Trump to exit the race.
“This is disgusting, vile, and disqualifying,” Ms Comstock said in a statement. “No woman should ever be subjected to this type of obscene behaviour and it is unbecoming of anybody seeking high office. In light of these comments, Donald Trump should step aside and allow our party to replace him with Mike Pence or another appropriate nominee from the Republican Party.”
Before Trump aired his apology video, Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz told Utah’s Fox 13 News that Trump’s words were “some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”
“And why should we tolerate this?” Mr Chaffetz asked. “This is the presidency of the United States of America: I just can’t do it.”
Also asking Trump to step aside was Republican Mike Coffman from Colorado and Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois.
Jon Huntsman, who only last week came around to the idea of voting for Trump, has also pulled his endorsement.
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
“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,” Mr Huntsman told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, was “beside himself,” and Gov. Pence’s wife was furious.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the comments “repugnant,” and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he was “sickened” by the remarks.
Mr Ryan said Trump would not be appearing with him at a scheduled event in Wisconsin. Gov. Pence will be attending in Trump’s place.
The debacle created concern about the second presidential debate scheduled for Sunday night.
Trump assured supporters he would attend the town hall style debate, but it was unclear whether he would use the opportunity to trash Hillary Clinton’s husband for his many alleged sex scandals.
After being disinvited from the event with Mr Ryan in Wisconsin, Trump said he would remain in New York to prepare for the debate, with RNC chair Reince Priebus, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Earlier in the day Priebus himself had called Trump’s comments “indefensible.”
It is understood that Mr Priebus and party chiefs are holding meetings to see what would happen if Trump is not the candidate on election day.
In that instance it is likely that Governor Pence, fresh from his debate winning performance last week, would be the nominee.
This article originally appeared in The New York Post