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Trump’s crude remarks put running mate Pence in awkward spot

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks during a campaign stop at the the Rossford Recreation Center in Rossford, Ohio.

INDIANAPOLIS >> Mike Pence has long described himself as a “Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order.”

Now, the GOP vice presidential nominee and his priorities are facing a critical test as Donald Trump, staggered by his recorded vulgarities about women, careens toward Sunday’s presidential debate against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump has vowed to stay in the race.

Pence’s advocacy for Trump came to a screeching, perhaps temporary, halt Saturday in the hours after Trump released a video apologizing for 2005 remarks in which he describes his aggressive conduct toward women.

Pence said in a statement about Trump that he won’t “condone his remarks and cannot defend them.”

“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,” the Indiana governor said.

It’s more evidence of the trials facing the GOP’s No. 2 that could serve Pence well if he runs for the top spot in 2020.

Pence dare not speak about that possibility. To do so would assume Clinton prevails on Nov. 8.

But plenty of people are engaging in presidential talk about Pence, including Republican member of Congress, former presidential candidates and more.

Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Mike Crapo of Idaho are calling on Trump to quit the campaign so Pence can lead the ticket. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire says she’ll write in Pence’s name on the ballot — not Trump’s.

Pence canceled his appearance at a Wisconsin rally Saturday with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Pence would have been expected to advocate for Trump.

“I’m sure he’s horrified,” said Mike Murphy, an Indiana public relations strategist who’s known Pence for more than two decades. “We impeached Bill Clinton and we cannot impeach Trump off the ballot. But I wish there was a mechanism to do so.”

Pence raised his political stock Monday night during the only debate against Democrat Tim Kaine. During the 90-minute event, Pence managed to not defend Trump’s indefensible behavior, yet still sound supportive and show off his own expertise on foreign policy.

The performance highlighted the gulf in political sophistication between Trump and his running mate.

Pence addressed the awkwardness with a savvy statement acknowledging his own performance and preserving his alliance with Trump.

“People are saying that I won the debate,” he said Wednesday in Harrisonburg, Virginia. “From where I sat, Donald Trump’s vision to make America great won the debate.”

But on Friday, Trump’s behavior put Pence to an even tougher test.

The Washington Post and NBC broke the story of Trump’s words about women as Pence advocated for Trump him in Ohio.

“With Donald Trump as president, we’ll have a president of the United States who respects all the American people,” Pence said as news of Trump’s comments was breaking.

Pence went on to defend, as he has previously, Trump’s outspoken nature as a refusal to “tiptoe around those thousands of rules of political correctness.”

Pence ignored shouted questions about Trump, and he was quickly whisked out of reach of the news media.

What followed: Pence’s silence, the scrapping his Wisconsin appearance and finally, his statement.

An influential Indiana conservative, Jim Bopp, who helped draft this year’s Republican Party platform, said Pence “should stay the course.”

Trump’s words are “ill-considered and crude,” Bopp said, and also “statements Mike Pence would never make.”

The election is bigger than that, said Bopp, a lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana.

“In the grand scheme of things, this is trivia vs. real life-and-death problems that we face in our foreign policy and the serious challenges that everyday Americans face because of the Obama-Clinton economy.”

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  • Unless Pence, without hesitation and ambiguity cuts himself from Trump, his political career is over–period.

    It is stunning that a self-described man of a Christ would place himself subservient to such a hedonistic and secular focused person. Are the precepts of Christ and Christian theology just talkies points for rust belt political functions? So, at present, his actions reflect a person who would allow political ambition, no matter how earnest, to supersede his life of a Christian? I am not an evangelical by any means, but I would have much more respect for him, if he actually placed action to his words.

      • Correct. He was certain to lose re-election, so this run for the V-P spot was his Hail Mary. As they say. Though that term hardly fits, does it?

    • I can’t figure what he’s thinking about. He is getting submerged in the Trump sewage spill and it’s ending his lifelong career in public service. He must know that Mr. Trump can’t win. There’s no chance at all of that anymore. None. This is a lousy way for him to end his career.

      • Indeed. At the end of the day, regardless of where we lie in the political spectrum, our actions will outlive any of our words. He should not even be conflicted, no where in the Bible does it instruct to place political affliation over the basic and clear precepts of Christianity. He has subordinated both himself and his faith to a pervert town fop—sad.

        • Nate Silver is expecting the bottom to fall out for Trump’s numbers. He’ll do poorly again at the debate tomorrow – he is an ignoramus, after all – so that and the latest news will be kicking him repeatedly while he’s already down. Thankfully, there won’t be time for a recovery.

    • I can kind of see why GOP folks are applauding Pence’s performance at the debate and at appearances. But truthfully, the bar is so low, ANYONE will look good in comparison to Trump.

      In reality, he’s a homophobe and xenophobe, as his actions against the LGBT and Syrian refugees confirm. The only good thing is, as an “old-fashioned” guy, he disapproved of Trump’s lewdness—and we still have to see what direction Pence will go in the the next day or two.

      I can’t stand the fact that he agreed to be Trump’s running mate. Anyone who associates with that sleazebag is not a truly good person. Never Pence in 2020!

    • Well, he picked his poison when he accepted the VP candidacy. He has done a strangely impressive job of both supporting Trump and also condemning his many dumb things. We’ll see if Pence’s artful tightrope walking will get him GOP brownie points he can redeem in 2020 or 2024.

      I can’t stand his extreme right position, and even worse, that he associated with Trump. Maybe it’ll be good for the Dems if he runs. He could be the next respectable-but-cannot-really-win Republican.

  • I wish Pence would drop the “Christian first” posturing. It’s an embarrassment to those who are devout and actually act according to their beliefs. Republican first, conservative second, and keep your “religion” to yourself.

    • Yes, Pence is a politician first, as in his decision to join Trump.

      His motives were to get national recognition; and to escape his own state, where he was going to lose his re-election bid due to his bigotry.

      The GOP will actually consider him for 2020, good news for Democrats!

    • Indeed, I had the same thought. Perhaps the opportunity to gain the spotlight was too tempting. However, it may reveal his weakness for judging character. Perhaps notable that, during the debates, Pence did not represent Trump’s conciliatory regard for Russia, but presented his own views about standing up to Putin. It seems he’s not cognizant of Trump’s political beliefs, despite being his running mate. Still willing to advocate for him…which suggests to me a weakness of character. Maybe better to go back to Indiana.

    • He looks waaaaaaaaaaaay better than TRump when he’s standing beside him, literally and figuratively.

      As a stand-alone and stand-up guy all by himself, though, nah.

  • If this didn’t already cross the line of being surreal and obscene, take a minute to hear his comments on Howard Stern, see:http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2016/10/08/donald-trump-howard-stern-show-women.cnn

    If you are a private citizen, in the entertainment field, or some performance artist, hey, do what you like. However, there are inflections points in terms of behavior that can disqualify an individual for the highest public office in the land. For Trump, that happened on many occasions, starting like 30 years ago.

  • Call Borthwick Mortuary, order the malasadas and glazed doughnuts, and start warming up the coffee, Trump’s wake is already being planned.

    Again, the uber conservative National Review has repudiated him for the 3rd time in the last 24 hours. Again, that’s three times in 24 hours by the republican standard bearer.

    Donald Trump’s latest self-inflicted trauma — an 11-year-old recording on which he can be heard recalling his unwanted advances on a married woman and boasting that his celebrity allows him to get away with sexual assault — should not be remembered as the reason he lost this presidential race. It could fairly be considered the nail in his campaign’s coffin, but let the record show that on October 7, 2016, Trump was already well on his way to electoral defeat, trailing by 3.2 points in the RealClearPolitics national average; by 2.4 points in Florida; by 2.6 points in North Carolina; and by 6 points in Pennsylvania.

    He also is vastly out-organized in each of those three must-win states. Nor should this October surprise be looked back upon as the episode that triggered a fatal decrease in Trump’s support among women voters. Here again, Trump’s fate was likely already sealed, thanks to an inept first debate performance followed by a six-day stretch in which the nominee ceaselessly ridiculed and shamed a former Miss Universe contestant, Alicia Machado, for no apparent reason other than to settle a personal grudge.

    A national Quinnipiac poll released on the day of that first debate, September 26, showed Trump down just five points among women. On October 7, having conducted a new national survey in the wake of those events, Quinnipiac released its findings: Trump was down 20 points among women. (This 15-point drop among female voters, in a period of less than two weeks, is also reflected in battleground state polling.)

    No, what will prove most memorable from this incident — and potentially, most damaging in the long term — is how the party stood by Trump despite concrete evidence of extreme lewdness from its nominee. “I moved on her, and I failed. … I did try and f*** her. She was married,” Trump says in the recording from 2005, which was taken aboard the “Access Hollywood” bus and obtained by the Washington Post. Trump continues to discuss the woman in question, “Access Hollywood” host Nancy O’Dell, claiming she enhanced her breasts. Then, when Trump and a fellow passenger spotted a woman outside, Trump says, “I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” Moments later, Trump adds, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”

    This talk isn’t terribly surprising. Trump has a long, well-documented history of making crude comments about women, and he has been the subject of numerous lawsuits and news stories resulting from allegations of unwanted sexual conduct. But the newly released recording was jarring for its immediacy. After it went viral on Friday afternoon, GOP leaders scrambled to organize their responses. Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest ranking Republican in the country, took considerable time in releasing a statement due to conversations with the Trump campaign about an event that was scheduled in Wisconsin for Saturday. Ryan, in his statement, said he was “sickened” by Trump’s remarks, adding: “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.”

    Ryan also announced that Trump wouldn’t be coming to Wisconsin, where the two were set to make their first joint appearance on the campaign trail. But the speaker — who felt compelled to endorse Trump despite their many differences, and has stuck by him through countless controversies — showed no sign of rescinding his endorsement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a similarly terse statement. “These comments are repugnant, and unacceptable in any circumstance,” he said. “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.” Like Ryan, however, McConnell gave no suggestion of withdrawing his support for Trump.

    Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus offered his own brief rebuke: “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.” And yet there is no question the party chairman will continue to back Trump — in fact, a statement from the nominee’s campaign late Friday night said Priebus would be joining him in New York on Saturday for debate prep. It’s not just the party leadership in Washington that’s showing no appetite for taking on Trump. A whole host of Republican senators, including nearly all of those facing reelection next month, issued statements Friday night expressing outrage at the nominee’s remarks.

    They came from: Arizona’s John McCain; North Carolina’s Richard Burr; Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey; New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte; and Ohio’s Rob Portman, among others. But not one of these senators announced any kind of opposition to Trump — whether by withdrawing their support or by calling on him to step down as the nominee.

    Aloha no e hui hou….

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/440867/trumps-legacy-will-haunt-gop-beyond-2016

  • “Out of the nine presidential campaigns I’ve covered, I’ve never seen anything as absurd as the motley crew of Trump advisers agonizing over how to delicately, in soothing tones, tiptoe up to the proudly uninformed megalomaniac and broach the topic of more rigorous debate prep,” Maureen Dowd writes in The New York Times Opinion Section.

      • CEI, rather than argue against what’s been written and said in the MAINSTREAM media, you might try to read and comprehend.

        My first argument against Trump has always been about his operating style, not about ideology or his immorality. It’s azz-kickingly obvious that he’s only a good salesman, is unable to actually run a business, campaign—or a country.

        His advisers weren’t able to tell him he lost the first debate, had to go along with his pointing to the National Enquirer (LOL!) poll as “proof” that he won the debate. He’s such an egomaniac that he thinks he can just walk up to a podium and out-talk anyone who’s done months of research. He only agrees to speak off a teleprompter (to prevent saying stoopid things) when declining poll numbers slap him in the face.

        You do NOT want this guy running your country. Enjoy him on some weird reality show sometime next year.

        • I don’t suppose there are any legitimate arguments to be made against Clinton? Nah’ can’t be, she’s as pure as the driven snow.

  • 1. Pence must have been blind to accept being Dishonest Donald’s VP. 2. The world might very well see Trump foaming at the mouth during Sunday night’s debate, he is LOSING TO A WOMAN. 3. There will be more tapes and videos released with Dishonest Donald discussing females of all ages, sizes, and sexual appearance. 4. How could all of this stuff surrounding Dishonest Donald not have been vetted 1 year ago?

  • “We pray for [TRump’s]family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart…”

    He’s already done that. He’s done it for the last 15 months, or 50 years, depending on where you start counting. We KNOW what’s in tRump’s heart, and it ain’t pretty.

    • Wow, every day the commentary is getting worse. It’s easy to understand why. I wonder why there’s no mention of the recently uncovered emails concerning Hillary’s speeches where she reveals her desire for open borders. Such a position is really significant. How would an open border effect Hawaii? Voters should be informed. Unfortunately, the media will pick and choose the stories they want to release. The media is an integral part of the Democrat’s strategy to get their candidate elected. Hillary’s team of researchers are exceptional at digging up “dirt”. All is fair game, but it would be far better if the public is totally informed about the plans of each candidate once they are in office.

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