Almost nobody in the Republican Party is defending Donald Trump right now, in the wake of a new Washington Post report showing him speaking in very lewd terms about women in 2005.
And the denunciations that have rolled in so far are coming from all sides of the party — from those who support Trump to those who have long opposed him to those close to him who are offering platitudes about how what he said was wrong, but that he's still better than Hillary Clinton. A growing number of them are even calling for him to end his campaign.
Below, the five emerging categories of Trump critics, along with his few defenders:
Trump should step aside (36)
1) Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who had previously backed Trump:
"In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom — at such a critical moment for our nation — and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket," Huntsman told the Salt Lake Tribune.
2) Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a longtime Trump critic, echoed the call:
Character matters.@realDonaldTrump is obviously not going to win.
But he can still make an honorable move:
Step aside & let Mike Pence try.
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) October 8, 2016
3) Former Iowa Republican Party chairman A.J. Spiker:
Donald Trump should resign as the Republican nominee for president, he brags about sexuality harassing women. He is unfit for public office
— AJ Spiker (@AJSpiker) October 7, 2016
4) Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a longtime Trump critic but someone Trump put on his list of potential Supreme Court nominees:
"I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside," he said in a Facebook video. "Step down. Allow someone else to carry the banner of [conservative] principles."
5) Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), a Trump opponent who is an underdog in his reelection bid this year:
— Mark Kirk (@SenatorKirk) October 8, 2016
6) Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), a former Trump supporter:
I can no longer endorse Donald Trump. Read my full statement: pic.twitter.com/lfa9mYZbdC
— Senator Mike Crapo (@MikeCrapo) October 8, 2016
7) Former New York governor George Pataki, who ran for president against Trump:
— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) October 8, 2016
8) Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, a former Trump defender:
For the benefit of the country, the party and his family, and for his own good, @realDonaldTrump should withdraw. More and worse oppo coming
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) October 8, 2016
9) Former GOP primary rival Carly Fiorina:
— Sarah Isgur Flores (@whignewtons) October 8, 2016
10) Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) didn't officially call on Trump to drop out, but said Saturday he might need to "reexamine his candidacy."
“As a woman, a mother, and a grandmother to three young girls, I am deeply offended by Mr. Trump's remarks, and there is no excuse for the disgusting and demeaning language," she said in a statement. "Women have worked hard to gain the dignity and respect we deserve. The appropriate next step may be for him to reexamine his candidacy."
11) Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), who represents a Denver-area swing district:
“For the good of the country, and to give the Republicans a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump should step aside. His defeat at this point seems almost certain. And four years of Hillary Clinton is not what is best for this country. Mr. Trump should put the country first and do the right thing.”
12) Rep. Joe Heck, the GOP nominee for Senate in Nevada:
"I can not in good conscience continue to support Donald Trump, nor can I vote for Hillary Clinton." -- @RepJoeHeck
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) October 8, 2016
Heck is getting booed as he says Trump should step down. "I'm so disappointed in you," one yells.
This is what the Republicans have wrought.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) October 8, 2016
13) Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.):
"It is now clear Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States and cannot defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe he should step aside and allow Governor Pence to lead the Republican ticket."
14) Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another longtime Trump critic:
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) October 8, 2016
15) Former John McCain staffer Jeff Weaver, who said Trump isn't the only one who should step down — that VP pick Mike Pence should too:
The ticket should resign, not just Trump. The ticket owns the entirety of Trump's behavior, past and present.
— John Weaver (@JWGOP) October 8, 2016
16) Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), who faces a tough reelection bid:
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) October 8, 2016
17) Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.):
Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately.
— Senator John Thune (@SenJohnThune) October 8, 2016
18) Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.):
Donald Trump's behavior makes him unacceptable as a candidate for president, and I won't vote for him.
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/Ge7GU1TSvm
— Rep. Martha Roby (@RepMarthaRoby) October 8, 2016
19) Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a moderate and a Trump critic:
Ethics Committee Chairman @RepCharlieDent (R-Pa.), no fan of Trump, tells me: "Should Donald withdraw? Yes. Will he? No."
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) October 8, 2016
20) Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah):
"I'm incredibly disappointed in our party's candidate. And unlike the Democrats who have proven completely unwilling to hold secretary Clinton accountable for her illegal activities that endangered our national security, I am willing to hold Mr. Trump accountable. I am therefore calling for him to step aside and to allow Mike Pence to lead our party."
21) South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard:
Enough is enough. Donald Trump should withdraw in favor of Governor Mike Pence. This election is too important.
— Gov. Dennis Daugaard (@SDGovDaugaard) October 8, 2016
22) Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.):
"I urge him to think about our country over his own candidacy and carefully consider stepping aside from the ticket.”
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) October 8, 2016
23) Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), a former co-chair of the RNC:
"I have committed my short time in Congress to fighting for the most vulnerable in our society. As a strong and vocal advocate for victims of sex trafficking and assault, I must be true to those survivors and myself and condemn the predatory and reprehensible comments of Donald Trump. I withdraw my endorsement and call for Governor Pence to take the lead so we can defeat Hillary Clinton."
24) Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.):
"The abhorrent comments made by Donald Trump are inexcusable and go directly against what I've been doing in Washington to combat assaults on college campuses. Because of this, I am rescinding my support for Donald Trump and asking to have my name removed from his agriculture advisory committee. With the terrible options America has right now, I cannot cast my vote for any of the candidates, so I hope Donald Trump withdraws from the race so the American people can elect Mike Pence as our next president."
25) Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska):
I cannot and will not support Donald Trump for president. He has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee.
— Lisa Murkowski (@LisaForSenate) October 8, 2016
26) Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska):
Im calling on Trump to step aside for Gov. Pence. Trump can’t lead on critical issue of ending dom violence & sexual assault. Full statement pic.twitter.com/e47h6MAdmH
— SenDanSullivan (@SenDanSullivan) October 8, 2016
27) Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.):
It would be wise for him to step aside and allow Mike Pence to serve as our party's nominee. (2/2)
— Deb Fischer (@DebFischerNE) October 8, 2016
28) Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), who faces a difficult reelection bid:
"In light of these comments, Donald Trump should step aside and allow our party to replace him with Mike Pence or another appropriate nominee from the Republican Party. I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump and I would never vote for Hillary Clinton.”
29) Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.):
If Donald Trump wishes to defeat Hillary Clinton, he should do the only thing that will allow us to do so - step aside. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/hadKP4gIrr
— Cory Gardner (@CoryGardner) October 8, 2016
30) Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.):
BREAKING: Another Nebraskan has abandoned Trump. U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry calls for Trump to step down. Will back Pence
— Robynn Tysver (@RobynnTysver) October 8, 2016
31) Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.), who faces a tough reelection race:
“I never endorsed Trump and I cannot in good conscience support or vote for a man who degrades women, insults minorities and has no clear path to keep our country safe. He should step aside for a true conservative to beat Hillary Clinton.”
32) Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice:
"Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw."
33) Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.):
Character matters. @realDonaldTrump has been saying outrageous, offensive things the whole time. He should have stepped aside long ago.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) October 8, 2016
34) Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.):
"I think Trump should think seriously about doing so. In my mind, he should. His comments cannot be justified and crosses every line you can imagine."
35) Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtninen (R-Fla.):
"Trump doesn't represent our nation. I was not with Trump before and I'm not with him now. Trump must withdraw."
36) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who hadn't endorsed Trump:
JUST IN: Gov.Bill Haslam asks Trump to step aside for Pence. "If he does not ... I will write in a Republican for [president]"
— NewsChannel 5 (@NC5) October 9, 2016
Withdrawing support, but not calling on him to drop out (10)
1) Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert, who has defended Trump's comments in the past and said he would support him:
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
2) Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah):
— Ben Winslow (@BenWinslow) October 8, 2016
3) Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) had long said Trump had her support, though not her endorsement. As of Saturday, he had neither — the vulnerable Senate incumbent said she'd be writing in Mike Pence's name instead:
I will not vote for Donald Trump. Read my statement here: pic.twitter.com/F8zajgDZpg
— Kelly Ayotte (@KellyAyotte) October 8, 2016
4) Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.), who faces a tough reelection bid:
5) Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.):
6) Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.):
"Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president."
7) Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio):
Sen. Rob PORTMAN dumps Trump, says he will vote for Mike Pence.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) October 9, 2016
8) Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley:
“I endorsed Gov. John Kasich for president, because I felt like he was the most qualified and the best person to lead our nation. I certainly won’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but I cannot and will not vote for Donald Trump.”
9) Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.):
“I will not be voting for him.”
10) Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.):
“I cannot support and will not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States. I will write in Gov. Mike Pence for president."
Criticizing, but not withdrawing their support (18)
1) House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who was due to appear with Trump on Saturday in Wisconsin and said that would no longer be the case:
“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests. In the meantime, he is no longer attending tomorrow’s event in Wisconsin.”
2) RNC Chair Reince Priebus:
"No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.”
3) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker:
Inexcusable. Trump's comments are inexcusable.
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) October 8, 2016
4) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.):
Every wife, mother, daughter -- every person -- deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. https://t.co/AVSEBastVc
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 8, 2016
5) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who endorsed Trump after the GOP primary:
Donald's comments were vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify.
No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 8, 2016
6) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.):
"As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape."
7) Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.):
"I have said before that I would not hesitate to voice my disagreement with Mr. Trump when he says something that I believe should not be part of our political dialogue. It is never appropriate to condone unwanted sexual advances or violence against women. Mr. Trump must realize that it has no place in public or private conversations today or in the past."
8) Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa):
The comments DJT made are lewd & insulting. There is no excuse, and no room for such reprehensible and objectifying talk about anyone, ever.
— Joni Ernst (@joniernst) October 8, 2016
9) Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.):
As a proud husband and father of a daughter, I find Donald Trump’s comments indefensible.
— Thom Tillis (@ThomTillis) October 8, 2016
10) Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.):
I am disgusted by Mr Trump's words about women: our daughters, sisters and mothers.
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) October 8, 2016
11) Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), the GOP nominee for Senate in Indiana:
"I think Donald Trump's terrible comments were beyond offensive. "
12) Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who is facing a tougher than expected reelection bid, called the comments "disrespectful and and inappropriate" but will still vote for him:
Sen. Roy Blunt tells me he'll still vote for Trump, and it's "unrealistic" to ask that he quit the race to be replaced.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) October 8, 2016
13) Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.):
"These comments are obviously very inappropriate and offensive and his apology was absolutely necessary."
14) Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa):
GOP Sen Grassley of IA, where Trump base of non-college whites is unusually large, sticks w/him: "His apology was necessary and appropriate"
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 8, 2016
15) Rep. John Fleming, a GOP candidate in the open Louisiana Senate race:
Donald Trump's comments are reprehensible. No man should ever speak like that. They are unacceptable under all circumstances. #lasen
— Dr. John Fleming (@FlemingforLA) October 8, 2016
16) Rep. Charles Boustany, who is also a GOP Senate candidate in Louisiana:
I strongly condemn Donald Trump's reprehensible comments regarding women. (1/2) #lasen
— Dr. Charles Boustany (@CBoustanyJr) October 8, 2016
There is no situation where derogatory and chauvinistic language characterizing women in this way is acceptable. (2/2) #lasen
— Dr. Charles Boustany (@CBoustanyJr) October 8, 2016
17) Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who faces a contested race:
— erica orden (@eorden) October 8, 2016
18) Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who isn't quite calling for Trump to drop out yet:
"Donald doesn’t have much choice at this point: he needs to throw himself on the mercy of the American people tomorrow night. He needs to take full responsibility for his words and his behavior, he needs to beg their forgiveness, and he needs to pledge to finally change has ways.
"If he doesn’t do those things, if he won’t do those things, then he should step aside and allow the Republican Party to replace him with an elder statesman who will."
Trump opponents going after him — hard
Mitt Romney leads the way here. The 2012 GOP nominee has spoken out against Trump forcefully, and he offered one of the most full-throated statements against him on Friday night:
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
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who lost the GOP primary to Trump earlier this year and has declined to back him:
Make no mistake the comments were wrong and offensive. They are indefensible.
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) October 7, 2016
Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who is defending a swing district in November:
I'm disgusted by Mr. Trump's comments. I wouldn't want anyone speaking about my wife, my daughters, or any woman that way. It's inexcusable.
— Carlos Curbelo (@carloslcurbelo) October 8, 2016
Trump surrogates trying to change the subject
Pence didn't directly address the new video during a rally Friday night, and efforts to get him to respond drew no response:
Pence repeatedly ignores questions about Trump/WaPo story pic.twitter.com/YB03rRoyvc
— Ines de La Cuetara (@InesdLC) October 7, 2016
My attempt to get Pence to respond to the Trump tape. He ignored the question. pic.twitter.com/jgv5rUJZIb
— Matthew Nussbaum (@MatthewNussbaum) October 7, 2016
Pence said at the rally that Trump "gets it," is the "genuine article" and that he would be a president who "respects all the American people."
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who is now a CNN contributor:
"Clearly this is not how women should be spoken about,” Lewandowski said. He continued: “We are electing a leader for the free world, we’re not electing a Sunday school teacher. ... What we know about Donald Trump — this is 12 years ago, this audiotape. It does not reflect or bring to mind the Donald Trump I spent 18 months with traveling. I never heard anything like this out of him."
New Trump surrogate A.J. Delgado:
Trump's talk has zero impact on how his policies would affect Americans. But sure, let's waste a day in the Ivory Tower feigning outrage.
— A.J. Delgado (@AJDelgado13) October 7, 2016
And lastly: The few Trump defenders
Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed, to BuzzFeed:
"Voters of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, create jobs, and oppose the Iran nuclear deal. Ten-year-old tapes of private conversation with a television talk show host rank very low on their hierarchy of concerns."
Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, also to BuzzFeed:
“My personal support for Donald Trump has never been based upon shared values, it is based upon shared concerns about issues such as: justices on the Supreme Court that ignore the constitution, America’s continued vulnerability to Islamic terrorists and the systematic attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen in the last 7 1/2 years."
Trump's Virginia campaign chair Corey Stewart:
"When people voted for Donald Trump, they knew he wasn’t an angel," Stewart told the Post. "They are not concerned that at times, Donald Trump acts like a frat boy. Sometimes he does, but that’s okay. They know he’s not an angel. They know that he can save the country, though. ... When Bill Clinton did all those horrible things, people still supported him afterward because they know that that is of secondary importance. They want someone who’s going to bring jobs back."
Former congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.):
"If this conversation had happened yesterday or, you know, a year ago, it would be one thing," he said on MSNBC, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But 10 years ago, in the context of Hollywood – it doesn’t make it right, not at all – but in the same hand, putting it in context, 10 years ago, in a private conversation. It’s a little different than a public policy statement."
Carson standing by Trump, says he "did the right thing in immediately and unequivocally apologizing."
— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) October 8, 2016
The chair of the Washington state Republican Party, Susan Hutchison, even pointed out that Trump was a Democrat when he made the comments:
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) October 8, 2016
Elise Viebeck contributed to this post.