Republicans calling on Donald Trump to step down as nominee

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WASHINGTON – The list of elected Republican officials who want Donald Trump to abandon his presidential campaign is growing.

Here are the comments of some of the Republican officials and others who have called on Trump to step aside after the revelation of crude comments he made about women, recorded in 2005, were made public Friday. He says there’s no chance he’ll quit.

“I wanted to be able to support my party’s nominee, chosen by the people, because I feel strongly that we need a change in direction for our country. However, I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women. I will not be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and instead will be writing in Governor Pence for president on Election Day.” — Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

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“I have reached the decision that I can no longer endorse Donald Trump. This is not a decision that I have reached lightly, but his pattern of behaviour has left me no choice. … Make no mistake. We need conservative leadership in the White House. I urge Donald Trump to step aside and allow the Republican Party to put forward a conservative candidate like Mike Pence who can defeat Hillary Clinton.” — Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho.

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“Donald Trump’s comments regarding women were disgraceful and appalling. There are absolutely no circumstances under which it would ever be appropriate to speak of women in such a way. 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.” — Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama.

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“I can no longer look past the pattern of behaviour and comments that have been made by Donald Trump. …I believe our only option is to formally ask Mr. Trump to step down and to allow Republicans the opportunity to elect someone who will provide us with the strong leadership so desperately needed and one that Americans deserve.” — Senate candidate Rep. Joe Heck of Nevada.

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“We must have a conservative in the White House to restore accountability, opportunity and security. For the sake of our Constitution and the rule of law, we must defeat Hillary Clinton. Today I ask Donald Trump to step aside and for the RNC to replace him with Gov. Mike Pence.” — Former 2016 GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

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“Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately.” — Sen. John Thune of South Dakota.

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“For the benefit of the country, the party and his family, and for his own good, @realDonaldTrump should withdraw. More and worse oppo coming.” — Conservative talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt, referring to the possibility of anti-Trump people coming out with so-called opposition research.

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“For the past several months I have been one of the few who refused to endorse Donald Trump. I have said all along that I was still waiting for Mr. Trump to demonstrate his commitment to the kinds of principles and policies the people in Utah’s 4th Congressional District want in their elected leaders. Mr. Trump has yet to clear that bar and his behaviour and bravado have reached a new low. I cannot vote for him. For the good of the party, and the country, he should step aside.” — Rep. Mia Love of Utah.

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“Mr. Trump himself has acknowledged this and identified this series of events tonight as a mere distraction. Well, with all due respect sir, you, sir, are the distraction. Your conduct, sir, is the distraction. It’s a distraction from the very principles that will help us win in November. You, yourself sir, Mr. Trump, have stated repeatedly that the goal, the objective has got to be to defeat Hillary Clinton in November. I couldn’t agree more. It’s for precisely that reason, Mr. Trump, that I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside, step down, allow someone else to carry the banner of these principles, these principles that have made our country great, these principles that will stand as a beacon of hope to the American family rather than weighing down the American people, rather than weighing down the very principles that will help us win in November.” — Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

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“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. Women have worked hard to gain the dignity and respect we deserve. The appropriate next step may be for him to re-examine his candidacy.” — Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

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“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.” — Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

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“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.” — Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado.

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“This is disgusting, vile and disqualifying. No woman should ever be subjected to this type of obscene behaviour and it is unbecoming of anybody seeking high office. 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.” — Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia.

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“As disappointed as I’ve been with his antics throughout this campaign, I thought supporting the nominee was the best thing for our country and our party. Now, it is abundantly clear that the best thing for our country and our party is for Trump to step aside and allow a responsible, respectable Republican to lead the ticket.” — U.S. Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama.

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“I’m horrified by #TrumpTape news. @realDonaldTrump campaign is a poisonous mix of bigotry & ignorance. Enough! He needs to step down.” — Former Gov. George Pataki of New York.

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“I cannot and will not support Donald Trump for president. He has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee.” — Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

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“Keeping Republicans in the Senate majority is critical to the economic and national security of Alaska and America. As for the White House, Donald Trump should step aside. I will support Mike Pence for president.” — Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan.


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