Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence planned to pull out of representing Donald Trump at a campaign event in Wisconsin today and instead will let Trump answer himself for his sexually aggressive comments about women.
“I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them,” Pence said in a statement. “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.”
Pence’s statement did not address the campaign event in Wisconsin. But a source familiar with the plan confirmed to IndyStar that Pence no longer planned to attend.
My statement below: pic.twitter.com/92VYEAxIcl— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 8, 2016
Indiana’s governor was to replace Trump after U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan called off Trump’s appearance following the publication Friday of a 2005 recording of Trump obtained by NBC News and the Washington Post.
“I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," Trump said into a hot mic. "Grab 'em by the (expletive)."
Trump planned to hole up in his Manhattan tower for debate prep on Saturday, even as a parade of Republicans denounced his comments — and some called on him to step aside as presidential nominee.
Hollywood actor and former Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent out a statement on Twitter on Saturday saying he could not support Trump for president.
As proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else - American. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/biRvY8S3aZ— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) October 8, 2016
Trump announced Saturday he has no plans to leave the race, even though a rising number of Republicans urged him to do just that.
"I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone I'm not," Trump said in a video statement and Facebook posting addressing the incident. "I've said and done things I regret, and the words released (Friday) on this more than a decade-old video are one of them."
He added: "I said it, it was wrong, and I apologize."
Contributed: David Jackson, USA TODAY