Gov. Mike Pence
The whirlwind reaction surrounding Donald Trump’s recorded lewd comments regarding women has forced his vice presidential running mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, to issue a stunning rebuke of his own political partner.
In a statement posted on Twitter from his official account on Saturday, Pence said:
"As a husband and father, I was offended by the word and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend the. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night."
Pence’s decision to issue the statement has already led some in GOP circles to speculate that he should be at the top of the ticket instead of Trump.
A source close to Trump camp told me Pence and his team are “absolutely apoplectic,” "melting down” and "inconsolable.”
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) October 8, 2016
Similarly, on Saturday, a growing list of GOP members publicly denounced Trump’s statements, with some like Governor George Pataki even calling for him to step down and end his campaign.
I’m horrified by #TrumpTape news. @realDonaldTrump campaign is a poisonous mix of bigotry & ignorance. Enough! He needs to step down.
— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) October 8, 2016
However, Trump confirmed on Saturday, in an interview with the Washington Post, that he has no intention of dropping out of the race.
"I’d never withdraw," Trump told the paper that first reported the profane conversation, recorded in 2005, between Trump and the television personality (with his own political ties) Billy Bush. "I’ve never withdrawn in my life … No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support."
The latest drama surrounding the candidate comes just a day before Trump is expected to face off against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a town hall style debate on Sunday.