Repub­li­can can­di­dates have mixed views on Trump

Democrats and some Repub­li­cans call on Trump to end his cam­paign

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Alex Rose arose@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @arosedelco on Twit­ter

Repub­li­can leg­is­la­tors and can­di­dates in Penn­syl­va­nia con­tinue to scram­ble about whether they will sup­port GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump.

Demo­cratic U.S. Se­nate can­di­date Katie McGinty con­tin­ued her all-out as­sault against sit­ting Repub­li­can ri­val Sen. Pat Toomey Mon­day morn­ing for fail­ing to de­nounce Trump.

“Pat Toomey isn’t be­ing brave and he’s not be­ing prin­ci­pled,” said McGinty spokesman Sean Coit in a re­lease. “He’s try­ing to make a po­lit­i­cal cal­cu­la­tion to save his own ca­reer, and it’s pa­thetic to watch.”

Trump has been roundly crit­i­cized af­ter au­dio record­ings from 2005 sur­faced Fri­day in which he de­scribes sex­u­ally as­sault­ing women and at­tempt­ing to se­duce a mar­ried woman.

The Repub­li­can nom­i­nee was shed­ding sup­port­ers over the com­ments through­out the week­end, in­clud­ing U.S. Rep. Pat Mee­han, R-7, of Chadds Ford, who deemed Trump’s decade­old state­ments “vile,” “ap­palling” and “of­fen­sive.”

“Mil­lions of Amer­i­cans op­pose Hil­lary Clin­ton’s lib­eral, pro­gres­sive agenda, but it’s clear that Don­ald Trump is not the right leader for the fight against it,” Mee­han said in an in­ter­view with over the week­end. “For the good of the coun­try, the Repub­li­can Party, and his fam­ily, I hope he’ll step aside and end his can­di­dacy for pres­i­dent so that we can come to­gether as a party and de­feat Hil­lary Clin­ton.”

A spokesper­son for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., told the Washington Times Mon­day that he will fo­cus en­tirely on con­gres­sional races be­cause he did not want to hand Clin­ton a “blank check with a Demo­crat-con­trolled Congress” and would not be cam­paign­ing for or de­fend­ing Trump in the run-up to the Nov. 8 elec­tion. Ryan re­port­edly told other Repub­li­can law­mak­ers in a con­fer­ence call that they should “do what’s best for you and your dis­trict.”

Nei­ther Toomey nor Mee­han, who faces Demo­crat Mary Ellen Balch­i­nus in the Nov. 8 elec­tion, im­me­di­ately re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment Mon­day.

Delaware County Repub­li­can Party Chair­man Andy Reilly de­nounced Trump’s com­ments as wrong and of­fen­sive,

but said he be­lieved Trump was re­morse­ful for them at the de­bate. Reilly said he still in­tends to vote for Trump, say­ing a Clin­ton pres­i­dency would be dis­as­trous.

“She will de­stroy the coun­try and her ac­tions have shown it, and frankly while I don’t con­done his locker room talk, I still think he’s a bet­ter choice to lead our coun­try in a new di­rec­tion,” said Reilly.

He added that lo­cal can­di­dates have al­ways been in­de­pen­dent of the na­tional ticket and know they need to court votes from Repub­li­cans, Democrats and in­de­pen­dents to be suc­cess­ful.

“We don’t speak for Don­ald Trump and he doesn’t speak for our can­di­dates,” said Reilly. “The peo­ple I have talked to, they still want an eco­nomic pol­icy and a fi­nan­cial pol­icy that works for them, they want a for­eign pol­icy that puts Amer­ica first and they want a bal­anced

Supreme Court. They’re still for Don­ald Trump. It’s about poli­cies.”

On Satur­day, U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6, of West Goshen, weighed in on Trump’s lat­est com­ments. “Don­ald Trump’s com­ments in the re­cently re­leased video are atro­cious, dis­re­spect­ful to­wards women, and are in­cred­i­bly in­ap­pro­pri­ate for some­one who wants to lead our coun­try,” said a state­ment on the Costello cam­paign’s Face­book page.

Costello has dis­tanced him­self from the Trump cam­paign but has not, like his col­leagues Mee­han and U.S. Rep. Char­lie Dent, R-15, of Le­high County, for­mally dis­avowed the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee.

Demo­crat Mike Par­rish, who is run­ning against Costello in the Novem­ber elec­tion, blasted Trump and Costello in a state­ment.

“Don­ald Trump’s com­ments, caught on tape, and re­leased to the me­dia on

Fri­day are dis­gust­ing and deeply dis­turb­ing, not to men­tion to­tally dis­qual­i­fy­ing,” Par­rish said. “That so many Repub­li­can elected of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Ryan Costello, con­tinue to stand be­hind him serves as an em­bar­rass­ing and con­stant re­minder of my op­po­nent’s failed lead­er­ship.

“Be­yond the en­tirely im­moral and lewd na­ture of the com­ments made by the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee, the acts Trump de­scribes and brags about in the video are by any def­i­ni­tion, in­clud­ing the one used by the Depart­ment of Jus­tice, sex­ual as­sault and ha­rass­ment. I have al­ready seen de­fend­ers of Trump dis­miss his lan­guage as ‘crude locker room chat­ter’. I served in the Army for 30 years and I have never heard some­thing as to­tally ap­palling in any locker room or mess hall.”

Toomey tweeted out Fri­day that Trump’s com­ments were “out­ra­geous and un­ac­cept­able,”

but his sup­port for the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date was still murky.

Fol­low­ing the sec­ond pres­i­den­tial de­bate with Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton Sun­day night, Toomey again com­mented on “the short­com­ings of both pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates” in a re­lease Mon­day.

“I have not en­dorsed Don­ald Trump and I have re­peat­edly spo­ken out against his flawed poli­cies, and his out­ra­geous com­ments, in­clud­ing his in­de­fen­si­ble and ap­palling com­ments about women,” he said in the re­lease.

Toomey, who can­celed a sched­uled visit to Pottstown High School in Mont­gomery County Mon­day morn­ing, went on to say McGinty has failed to crit­i­cize Clin­ton for her “dis­as­trous poli­cies” “wide­spread dis­hon­esty” and cor­rup­tion. Toomey did not pro­vide any ex­am­ples with those claims.

“Penn­syl­va­nia de­serves a

se­na­tor who will cross party lines and pro­vide in­de­pen­dent lead­er­ship, not a rub­ber stamp for a very flawed pres­i­dent,” he said.

The McGinty camp mean­while claimed Toomey can­celed the Pottstown visit be­cause he did not want to face re­porters on Trump, dub­bing him “Fraidy-Pat.”

“Let’s be very clear about what Fraidy-Pat Toomey’s pa­thetic ‘state­ment’ this morn­ing re­ally means: He’s stand­ing with Don­ald Trump af­ter hear­ing Trump brag about sex­u­ally as­sault­ing women,” said Coit. “Pat Toomey doesn’t have the courage to say that a man who brags about sex­u­ally as­sault­ing women shouldn’t be pres­i­dent. He doesn’t even have the courage to speak to high school stu­dents in Penn­syl­va­nia and tell them to their faces why he’s stand­ing with Don­ald Trump. It’s em­bar­rass­ing, it’s a shame, and it’s go­ing to cost Sen. Toomey his job.”

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