Sen. McCain drops support for Trump; will vote for write-in
PHOENIX (AP) — Sen. John McCain joined the growing chorus on Saturday of high-profile Republicans withdrawing support for Donald Trump.
The Arizona senator said in a statement that both he and his wife, Cindy McCain, will not be voting for Trump in the wake of lewd comments he made in a 2005 videotape.
“I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton,” McCain said. “We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President.”
The political firestorm was sparked by a video obtained and released Friday by The Washington Post and NBC News. In the video, Trump, who was married to his current wife at the time, is heard describing attempts to have sex with a married woman to an anchor on the entertainment show, “Access Hollywood.” He also brags about women letting him kiss them and grab their genitals because he is famous.
Trump apologized in a video statement released by his campaign early Saturday morning.
McCain, however, said there were no excuses for the GOP presidential nominee’s offensive and demeaning remarks about women.
The senator has criticized comments from Trump on several occasions. Yet even when Trump said McCain, a former prisoner of war, was no war hero because he had been captured, McCain ultimately remained supportive.
The 2008 GOP presidential nominee, who is running for re-election to the Senate in November, seemed to do it at times through gritted teeth.
His challenger, Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, said McCain’s disavowal of Trump was too little, too late.
“For more than a year, McCain stood by Donald Trump, pledging his support more than 60 times,” Kirkpatrick said in a statement. “He missed the chance to show political courage and lead.”
Other Republican state officials have also slammed Trump’s remarks.
Sen. Jeff Flake, who was openly critical for months of Trump’s statements on immigration and other issues, said in a tweet Saturday that Trump should drop out of the race.
Gov. Doug Ducey also blasted the presidential nominee’s words but didn’t say whether or not he would still vote for him.
“The comments by Donald Trump are insulting and terribly demeaning to women, and I disavow them 100 percent,” Ducey said.