The leak of Donald Trump’s recorded 2005 comments describing his behavior toward women has quickly brought his campaign to a crisis point.
Republican officials are lining up to denounce the GOP nominee’s remarks in very strong terms indeed. Some of them, like Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, have long been critical of Trump — though it’s significant that they’ve now chosen to be much more vocal about this criticism just a month before the election.
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
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
Yet potentially much more significant is this statement from RNC chair Reince Priebus, who has been staunchly in Trump’s corner of late:
Reince on trump pic.twitter.com/AW247iCQCl— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) October 7, 2016
It is not clear whether Priebus will back up these strong words by, say, renouncing his support of Trump. But this condemnation of the GOP nominee by the RNC chair one month before the election is certainly an inconvenient — even an unprecedented? — thing.
Furthermore, Speaker Paul Ryan and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — both Trump supporters — have jointly disinvited him from a campaign event that had been scheduled for Saturday.
Paul Ryan disinvited Trump from his Wisconsin event tomorrow pic.twitter.com/lUkpSbuIok— Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) October 8, 2016
More from @KellyO: It was "a joint decision" by Ryan and Gov. Walker to disinvite Donald Trump to the Wisconsin GOP event Saturday night.— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) October 8, 2016
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have spoken up too:
These comments are disturbing and inappropriate, there is simply no excuse for them.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 8, 2016
Donald's comments were vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 8, 2016
No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.
Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) went as far as withdrawing their endorsements of Trump:
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who over the summer had said he would vote for Donald Trump, has withdrawn his support https://t.co/InEncwTLpQ— CNN (@CNN) October 8, 2016
Comment from @jasoninthehouse retracting his Trump endorsement https://t.co/mejs8jvRtX pic.twitter.com/EjDzxcCHv7— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 8, 2016
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans in competitive races are also throwing Trump under the bus to try and save themselves:
DJT is a malignant clown - unprepared and unfit to be president of the United States.— Mark Kirk (@SenatorKirk) October 7, 2016
NC GOP @SenatorBurr (up for reelex) RE: Trump audio: "The comments are inappropriate and completely unacceptable."— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 7, 2016
Ayotte: Trump's predatory comments "inappropriate and offensive" https://t.co/HnakkpgEuh pic.twitter.com/MLoeEPsAH5— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) October 7, 2016