Despite a rising chorus even in the Republican ranks calling for him to withdraw, Donald Trump vowed on Saturday to stay in the presidential race.
Since the release of a 2005 video of Trump making lewd remarks about women, asserting his ability to kiss and grope them because he is a star, (just months into his marriage of Melania Trump, it should be noted), Trump has been attempting to do his brand of damage control.
First he issued a lame, “I’m sorry if you were offended” apology.
Then he released a brief video saying: “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”
He proceeded to threaten to bring up the Clintons’ marital troubles.
Later he made light of the whole thing tweeting, “it sure has been an interesting 24 hours.”
In a first, even his wife Melania has issued a statement that criticized him. “The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” it read. “This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”
Good luck with that moving on thing.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Saturday, Trump said there is “zero chance” he will drop out.
He reiterated that sentiment in all caps on twitter Saturday afternoon. “The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly – I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN!” he tweeted.
It would be uncharted territory if he did drop out. As Reuters notes:
There is no precedent for a major party to replace their nominee this late in the campaign and it remains unclear if there is an avenue to force him from the race. Voting has already begun in several states, including the important swing states of Virginia and North Carolina.
Of the Republicans who have decamped, Senator Kelly Mayotte of New Hampshire has said she will write-in Trump’s running mate Mike Pence when she votes. Paul Ryan canceled a campaign event with Trump calling his comments “sickening,” but stopped of withdrawing his endorsement. Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah did withdraw his, saying, “I’m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.” A pained-looking Mike Pence has issued this brief statement Saturday:
“As a husband and father I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in an eleven-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them.”
There are also hints that the RNC may also be bailing on Trump. On Friday Reince Priebus denounced Trump’s comments as “indefensible.”
On Saturday, the RNC appeared to be halting some of the opertions of the “Victory” program that is or was all about getting Donald Trump elected, according to Politico, which reports:
In an email from the RNC to a victory program mail vendor, with the subject line “Hold on all projects,” the committee asked the vendor to “put a hold” on mail production.
“Please put a hold/stop on all mail projects right now. If something is in production or print it needs to stop. Will update you when to proceed,” Lauren Toomey, a staffer in the RNC’s political department, wrote in an email that was obtained by POLITICO.
- Trump-Supporting Troll Sent Video Designed to Induce Seizures to Journalist With Epilepsy
- Watch: Robert De Niro Unloads on ‘Punk’ Donald Trump in One Perfect Minute
- Trump’s Former Policy Chief: ‘Under No Circumstances Will I Support Donald Trump for President’