MINNEAPOLIS -- A dozen female DFL lawmakers said Sunday that Minnesota Republicans waited far too long to denounce Donald Trump, asserting they should've dropped their support before the leak of a tape featuring trump bragging about groping women.
"We've heard Donald Trump make racist, sexist, homophobic remarks, make fun of people with disabilities, Gold Star families," Rep. Peggy Flanagan of St. Louis Park remarked. "And now suddenly that we have a video tape, now we are believing people. Believe women."
The video, excerpts from a raw tape recorded in 2005 for the show Access Hollywood, featured Trump telling then-host Billy Bush that he could kiss and grab the genitals of women, and that they let him do it because he's a star.
"When Donald Trump bragged about his behavior with women he crossed from words to action," Rep. Erin Murphy, the Assistant House Minority Leader, told reporters.
"When somebody kisses or touches or gropes a person, a trans person, a man, or woman without their permission it is sexual assault."
Throughout the weekend several high profile Minnesota Republican leaders, including former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Congressman Erik Paulsen and House Speaker Kurt Daudt announced they were dropping their support for Trump.
Rep. Murphy said Democrats at the State Capitol called on their Republican colleagues last spring to denounce Trump, after he called on a ban on Muslim immigration and said Mexico is sending rapists to the United States.
"Yesterday, after a year’s worth of indecent discussion and political rhetoric from Trump, Kurt Daudt decided to back away," Murphy asserted. "I say it's too little, too late Kurt Daudt."
Rep. Daudt had originally supported the campaign of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. When pressed on Trump in August Daudt said he's not focused on presidential politics, but assumed he'd be voting Republican in November.
Rep. Paulsen had been quoted as voting for whoever the eventual nominee is, but in an August debate said he wasn't prepared to endorse Trump yet. On Saturday Paulsen said Trump hadn't earned his vote prior to the release of the tapes, and can't earn it now.
Rep. Laurie Halvorson of Eagan called on Jason Lewis, the GOP candidate for the open seat in the 2nd Congressional District, to withdraw his support for Trump.
"Sadly, Donald Trump could not manage a sincere apology regarding his comments, but Jason Lewis has time to apologize to the women of the Second Congressional district for his insults," Rep. Halvorson said.
None of the Republicans who dropped support of Trump have endorsed Hillary Clinton, or said who they would pick in the presidential election. Paulsen made of a point of saying he wouldn't vote for Clinton, because he sees her as a flawed candidate.