Donors to Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign have become skittish — with some downright angry — after a 2005 tape surfaced on Friday in which the GOP nominee can be heard making vulgar remarks about women. A prominent Trump bundler told CBS News that he “could not tell you how many” calls he has gotten from donors in the course of the last day.
After the Washington Post first published the tape, people want their money back, he said. (The Republican party and the campaign’s fundraising apparatus is not returning donations.) According to the bundler, donors said they feel betrayed by Trump — that their efforts have been a waste. Some said they would like to see Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate and the governor of Indiana, at the top of the ticket, though the means of achieving such a switch are not clear.
Other Republicans have expressed disgust and outrage over the previously unaired “Access Hollywood” footage, where Trump boasts about his sexual advances, saying that he can “grab [women] by the p***y”, and that when you’re a star “you can do anything”. Several party leaders, including Senate GOP conference chair John Thune of North Dakota, called for Trump to step down from the ticket, while the billionaire’s wife Melania Trump asked people to forgive her husband for the “unacceptable and offensive” comments about women.
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Others have weighed in with forceful condemnations of the businessman, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said he was “sickened” by the 2005 comments, and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, said: “[n]o woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner”.
Trump brushed aside calls for him to get out of the race, saying: “I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, I WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN!” he declared in a tweet on Saturday afternoon.
Trump is scheduled to make a fundraising swing through Texas in the days following Sunday’s presidential debate with his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton.