Faso says support of Trump not an endorsement
19th Congressional District candidate John Faso on Saturday said he still supports Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president but can’t promise that will translate to a vote after audio surfaced of the former reality show host making a lewd description of efforts to have sex with former Access Hollywood co-host Nancy O’Dell.
Faso addressed the issue during a telephone interview, saying Trump’s 2005 conversation with several people on a Hollywood Access bus contained language that was highly offensive.
“As a father and a husband I am appalled and really saddened that this kind of discussion comes into the national political discourse and it’s just awful,” he said. “These are the kind of things that if I had a nine-year-old daughter today I’d be shielding that kind of newspaper story from her view.
“It’s the kind of thing that parents don’t want to have in front of their kids,”
Faso, who has an adult daughter and son, stood by previous comments he would support the Republican nominee but only because they are on the same ballot line and he doesn’t consider “support” as being an endorsement.
“All it means is that we’re running on the same ticket together, the same party line,” he said.
“That’s about it, and if there are specific policy positions that espouses that I agree with I’ll support those.
“And if Mrs. Clinton is elected and I’m honored to be elected to Congress and there are specific things that she comes forth with, policy positions I think will help our country I will support those, too.”
Asked whether he would vote for Trump, Faso responded: “I haven’t made that decision.”
Faso has previously criticized Trump for comments about two Gold Star parents whose son died in Iraq and for a proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Efforts to reach Faso’s Democratic opponent Zephyr Teachout were unsuccessful early Saturday, but campaign staff described Trump as “speaking in crude and vulgar terms about women” in a release Friday evening.
The release included a quote attributed to Teachout criticizing Faso for supporting Trump.
“John Faso has repeatedly affirmed his support for Donald Trump, despite Mr. Trump’s troubling pattern of degrading women,” Teachout said. “The recently released recording of Donald Trump is deeply offensive.
“Even if John Faso disavows Mr. Trump’s comments, it’s too late. John Faso can’t be expected to stand up for the needs of the women in this district if he can’t even stand up to Donald Trump.”
The candidates are seeking to take the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, who has not responded to repeated requests since August for comment on the presidential race. As of noon on Saturday, he had not returned a phone message and an email sent late Friday seeking comment.