ST. GEORGE – In the wake of lewd comments about women voiced by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in an audio recording from 2005, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday he will not vote for Trump. Others have also blasted Trump for the comments.
Herbert made his announcement via Twitter.
Donald Trump’s statements are beyond offensive & despicable. While I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I will not vote for Trump. #utpol
— Gary R. Herbert (@HerbertForUtah) October 8, 2016
While Herbert has previously been tepid about supporting Trump, he nonetheless stated earlier this year that he would vote for the GOP nominee. While he has shown more enthusiasm for Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, any sliver of support for the GOP’s presidential pick has evidently evaporated.
In the 2005 recording, Trump brags about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women who were not his wife on recordings obtained by The Washington Post and NBC News. The celebrity businessman boasted “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” in a conversation with Billy Bush, then a host of the television show “Access Hollywood.”
During part of the recording, Trump also said a woman he “moved on” was married, though he ultimately failed in this regard, he said.
The remarks were captured by a live microphone that Trump did not appear to know was recording their conversation.
In a statement released by his campaign, Trump said:
This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.
Trump also released a fuller statement in a video via Twitter in which he apologizes once more, saying he is not a perfect person who has said and done things he regrets, which includes the conversation from 11 years ago.
Here is my statement. pic.twitter.com/WAZiGoQqMQ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016
Utah GOP leaders and others have since voiced their disapproval of Trump’s words.
Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, of Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, told Fox 13 News he could no longer endorse Trump.
“I’m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president,” Chaffetz said. “It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”
Chaffetz is reportedly the first Republican member of Congress to pull his endorsement of Trump.
Sen. Orrin Hatch also released a short statement condemning Trump’s comments.
“Mr. Trump’s comments were offensive and disgusting,” he said. “There is no excuse for such degrading behavior. All women deserve to be treated with respect.”
Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor, added his opinion to the fray erupting on Twitter.
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
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox’s compared the situation to a Ray Rice video, and shared a text from his wife on the matter for all the world – with permission he noted:
Well, congratulations GOP! There is your repulsive, repugnant, evil, vomit-inducing nominee! Maybe next time the dems will be as stupid and out up Honey Boo Boo and we can resort to mind numbing, IQ dropping, depraved, reality TV for out political leaders. God help us all!
Feels a little like the Ray Rice video. Also, here is a text I just got from my wife (used w her permission)… pic.twitter.com/WUuZuNxdh2
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) October 8, 2016
The Utah Democratic Party also chimed in with the release of the following statement from Lauren Littlefield, the party’s executive director:
We’ve known all along that Donald Trump is not fit for the presidency, but the video remarks leaked today take things to a new low. We commend Gary Herbert, Greg Hughes, Jason Chaffetz, Jon Huntsman, Jr., and the other Trump supporters who are now reconsidering their stance on the presidential race. We encourage all Utahns to do the same. Our vote in this election is too important to cast based solely out of party loyalty. Donald Trump does not represent Utah values, and we urge voters to study the candidates and the issues both at the top of the ticket and all the way down the ballot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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