More Republicans desert Trump over blatantly sexist remarks

10 Oct 2016


The US Republican Party is in meltdown as dozens of senior functionaries disavowed its presidential candidate Donald Trump with more tapes of his vulgar conversations about women - including remarks about his daughter Ivanka Trump - surfaced on Saturday.

A recording from 2005 that emerged on Friday, where Trump speaks of his pursuit of women, and how he forcibly kisses and gropes them, has resulted in widespread condemnation.

The batch of conversations run by the CNN on Saturday were clips from radio talk shows aired years ago, and hence already public, technically.

But the fact that their presidential nominee could talk the way he did about relationships and women has left many Republicans with no option but to abandon him. Trump figures in one of the conversations.

Trump's running mate Mike Pence refused to defend him while Senator John McCain, the party's presidential nominee in 2008, retracted his endorsement of the candidate.

''Enough! Donald Trump should not be President,'' former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. ''He should withdraw. As a Republican, I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth,'' she added.

Republican leaders are also discussing the possibility of replacing Trump but that may not be easy. The candidate has rejected calls by many of them to quit the race.

Trump faced off with his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton on Sunday evening in the second presidential debate, 30 days ahead of the election. The town hall-style debate had the audience asking questions of the candidates.

The stream of tapes revealing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's vulgar conversations about women have eclipsed the issue of Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton's paid speeches, which were revealed by Wikileaks on Friday.

The speeches raise questions about the conflict between Clinton's public positions and her private promises. Clinton has shifted to an anti-trade posturing, but her closed-door speeches to Wall Street executives where she supports it can damage her campaign. Clinton has always refused to share the transcripts of these speeches with the public.

Trump's strategy will be to turn the tables on Clinton by accusing her of intimidating the women her husband Bill Clinton was involved with. The Republican candidate retweeted a woman who had in 1999 accused Clinton of raping her. Juanita Broaddrick (73) tweeted, ''How many times must it be said? Actions speak louder than words. DT said bad things! HRC threatened me after BC raped me.''

The pro-Trump website on Sunday morning carried a new interview with Broaddrick where she broke down, recounting the allegation that Clinton had raped her and that Hillary had threatened her to keep quiet about it. Trump tweeted the interview and also took potshots at Republican leaders. ''Tremendous support (except for some Republican "leadership"). Thank you,'' he said.

The division within the party could also cause serious damage to Republican Congressional candidates. At a rally on Saturday evening in Wisconsin, Trump supporters booed Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has turned against the candidate.

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