The Latest: Portman pulls Trump support
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign a day before the second presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump (all times EDT):
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is revoking his support for Donald Trump and says he will instead back Trump’s running mate Mike Pence for president.
Portman says he had hoped to support his party’s nominee because he felt it was “appropriate to respect the millions of voters” who backed Trump during the GOP primary. He says that while he continues to “respect” those who back Trump, “I can no longer support him.”
Portman is running for re-election in what was supposed to be one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. However, he’s maintained a steady lead over Democrat Ted Strickland for months.
Rudy Giuliani is downplaying the number of Republicans who announced they were abandoning Donald Trump, suggesting that it was now “the insiders against the outsiders” in the GOP.
Giuliani spoke to reporters late Saturday after spending hours huddled with the Republican nominee and other aides inside Trump Tower.
The former New York City mayor said the calls for Trump to withdraw are simply the “wishful thinking of the Clinton campaign and those people who have opposed him for a long time.”
He also downplayed the intra-party defections, saying “they already didn’t support him in the first place so it’s not really a surprise.”
“It’s basically the insiders against the outsiders, anyway,” Giuliani said.
He declared that Trump is a “populist candidate” and those that oppose him are the establishment.”
Donald Trump has retweeted a pair of postings by Juanita Broaddrick, whose accusations that Bill Clinton raped her in 1978 were never tested in criminal court.
The embattled GOP presidential nominee has threatened to raise the former president’s infidelities in his battle against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Trump’s own campaign is struggling under a newly revealed recording from 2005 in which he brags about groping women without their consent.
Dozens of Republicans called for Trump to quit his campaign Saturday.
By early evening, he was back on Twitter.
He first reposted a Broaddrick tweet from Saturday morning that said, in part: “Actions speak louder than words. DT said bad things! HRC threatened me after BC raped me.” Trump then retweeted Broaddrick’s second post: “Hillary calls Trump’s remarks ‘horrific’ while she lives with and protects a ‘Rapist’. Her actions are horrific.”
Bill Clinton has long denied the accusations, Hillary Clinton has declined to address them and charges were never brought.
Congressman Will Hurd has become the first member of Texas’ Republican congressional delegation to call for Donald Trump to quit his presidential bid.
The first-term congressman’s district runs 800 miles along the border with Mexico. Hurd previously refused to endorse Trump — but also had said Trump still had time to win his support.
Campaign manager Justin Hollis said Saturday that Hurd was releasing a statement saying he “cannot in good conscience support or vote for” someone who “degrades women, insults minorities” and has no plan to keep America safe.
Hurd adds that Trump bow out and make room “for a true conservative to beat Hillary Clinton.”
An ex-CIA agent, Hurd is one of just three black Republicans in Congress. His is Texas’ only competitive congressional district in November.
Vice President Joe Biden says Donald Trump’s comments in videotape footage amount to a reference to sexual assault.
Biden says on Twitter that Trump’s words are “demeaning.” He says the behavior is an abuse of power.
Biden says: “It’s not lewd. It’s sexual assault.”
The reactions comes on a Twitter account, @JoeBiden, that’s run by the Democratic National Committee. But it was signed “Joe,” indicating it came from the vice president himself. Biden’s office confirmed the tweet came from him.
Donald Trump is saluting his supporters who have been rallying outside Trump Tower on Saturday.
The embattled Republican presidential nominee stepped outside of the New York City skyscraper that bears his name to briefly wave and pump his first at his fans.
A few hundred Trump supporters — and dozens of news crews — had gathered on Fifth Ave for several hours.
Trump had been holed up inside the building preparing for Sunday’s debate against Hillary Clinton. He’s also meeting with key aides to discuss how to forge forward after the release of a damaging 2005 video that captures him making lewd remarks about women and appearing to condone sexual assault.
Sen. John McCain is formally withdrawing his support from Donald Trump.
The Arizona senator and 2008 GOP nominee says in a statement that Trump’s newly revealed boasting about groping women “make it impossible” for him to support his party’s presidential nominee. Trump has apologized but refused to quit the race.
He says he and his wife Cindy “will not vote for Donald Trump” and will instead write in the name of “some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president.”
Trump and McCain have been at odds since early in the campaign when Trump declared that McCain, a POW during the Vietnam war, was only considered a hero because he was captured.
McCain has also chastised Trump for his dispute with a gold star family and his comments about a judge of Hispanic ancestry.
Four female Democratic senators and one hopeful are lining up to blast Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte for waiting so long to revoke her support for Donald Trump. They say her decision to write in Mike Pence is no better.
New Hampshire’s Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is challenging Ayotte in a deadlocked race for the U.S. Senate. Hassan says Ayotte “has failed the test of courage, character and judgment.”
Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan joined Hassan in New Hampshire on Saturday.
Baldwin called Trump a “sick man” who can never become president. Stabenow says Ayotte “until now has been OK with what Trump has said.” She adds that Trump “went too far a long time ago.”
Donald Trump is again vowing to continue his campaign even though he says the “media and establishment want me out of the race so badly.”
Trump vowed in capital letters on Twitter Saturday to “never drop of out the race.” He also pledged to “never let my supporters down.”
Trump has remained in Trump Tower in New York meeting with key aides and preparing for the second presidential debate Sunday in St. Louis.
Many Republicans have called for Trump to abandon his campaign in the wake of the release of a 2005 video in which he makes lewd remarks about women and appears to condone sexual assault.
Trump released a video statement in the early moments of Saturday in which he offered an apology for the remakes and pivoted to attack on Hillary Clinton and her husband.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is defending House Speaker Paul Ryan in the face of heckling from a Republican crowd at a rally in Ryan’s congressional district.
The Wisconsin Republican says the annual “Fall Fest” is a chance to thank Ryan for his work. That led someone in the crowd to yell, “Not no more!”
Sensenbrenner started to say, “OK, if you’re not going to be for the whole ticket” before being interrupted again by the person shouting “I’m for Donald Trump!”
Sensenbrenner then urged the person to “stop interrupting me” before making his case to elect both Trump and others running for office this year.
Trump originally was to headline the annual event in Ryan’s district. Ryan on Friday told Trump not to come after lewd and sexually charged comments Trump made in 2005 came to light.
Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is leaving Indiana to headline a campaign fundraiser for Donald Trump in Rhode Island Saturday evening.
Pence’s wife, Karen, is joining him. The couple plans to return to Indiana Saturday night.
The trip comes after Pence condemned Trump’s recorded remarks in which he brags about his aggressive behavior with women. Trump has apologized and but has refused to quit the race as many Republicans have demanded.
Earlier Saturday, Pence cancelled his participation in a rally with House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin. Trump also did not attend that event as scheduled.
Sen. Cory Gardner says the only way for Republicans to win the White House in 2016 is to replace Donald Trump as the GOP nominee.
The Colorado Republican tweeted that “If Donald Trump wishes to defeat Hillary Clinton, he should do the only thing that will allow us to do so: Step aside.”
Gardner joins a growing list of other elected Republicans who are calling for Trump to quit following the release of a recording of Trump bragging about being aggressive with women.
Trump has apologized and has refused to leave the race. He and Clinton face off in their second debate Sunday. Election Day is Nov. 8.
Melania Trump is coming to her husband’s defense, saying the vile words he spoke in an uncovered video do “not represent the man that I know.”
Mrs. Trump says in rare public statement that the words her husband used in the 2005 footage released Friday “are unacceptable and offensive to me.”
She added that the words do “not represent the man that I know,” adding, “He has the heart and mind of a leader.”
Trump was newly married when he bragged on tape about trying to have sex with married women and groping others without permission.
Mrs. Trump says she “hopes people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”
Republicans are increasingly calling for Donald Trump to drop his presidential bid over his aggressive conduct toward women.
Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan’s reasoning is typical. He says in a tweet and a statement: “I’m calling on Trump to step aside for Gov. Pence. Trump can’t lead on critical issue of ending dom(estic) violence & sexual assault.”
Trump has apologized and has refused to quit the race.
Others dropping their support for Trump include Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Ann Wagner of Missouri and Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska.
Hillary Clinton has taken nearly every precaution to ensure that the public would never know what she told corporate executives in dozens of closed-door speeches she gave before running for president.
The Democratic presidential candidate has had good reason to be worried.
The private comments struck a tone starkly at odds with the fiery, populist message she’s pushed throughout her campaign. Some of her remarks give fresh fuel to liberals’ worst fears about Clinton: That she is a political moderate, comfortable cutting back-room deals.
A Friday hack of her campaign chairman’s personal email account exposed an internal review conducted by campaign aides to survey the political damage some of her remarks could cause if made public.
Clinton’s campaign has refused to confirm or deny the veracity of the emails posted by WikiLeaks.
Donald Trump is huddling with a close circle of advisers in New York, a day after damaging revelations about his comments about women.
Most of his campaign staff and network of supporters were left in the dark about the fast-moving developments.
A person close to the Trump operation who spoke on condition of anonymity said staff calls were canceled and surrogates were not given guidance on how to respond to the controversy. The person insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal campaign dynamics publicly.
The campaign was reeling from a 2005 recording first reported by The Washington Post and NBC News in which Trump speaks in vulgar terms about women and his aggressive behavior toward them. Trump has since apologized and vowed to stay in the race. But a growing list of Republican officeholders is calling on him to quit the race.
The upheaval comes on the eve of the second debate between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton — and less than five weeks before Election Day.
— By Julie Pace.