Trump faces calls to quit race Run­ning mate says he can’t de­fend in­de­cent re­marks about women

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

US pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Don­ald Trump has told The Wall Street Jour­nal news­pa­per there is “zero chance” he will drop out of the pres­i­den­tial race, amid mount­ing crit­i­cism and calls to quit fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions of in­de­cent com­ments about women.

Trump said he will “never, ever give up”, ac­cord­ing to the re­port pub­lished on Satur­day, ahead of a state­ment from his vice pres­i­den­tial run­ning mate Mike Pence, declar­ing that he can “not con­done his re­marks and can­not de­fend them”.

Pence said: “As a hus­band and a fa­ther, I was of­fended by the words and ac­tions de­scribed by Don­ald Trump in the 11-year-old video re­leased yes­ter­day. I am grate­ful that he has ex­pressed re­morse and apol­o­gised to the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

Trump’s wife, Me­la­nia, also weighed in on the con­tro­versy, say­ing her hus­band’s re­marks were “un­ac­cept­able and of­fen­sive”, but added that she had ac­cepted his apol­ogy. She also ap­pealed to vot­ers to ac­cept Trump’s apol­ogy.

On Satur­day af­ter­noon, Ari­zona Se­na­tor John McCain, the 2008 Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent, an­nounced he has with­drawn his sup­port for Trump, say­ing “it’s im­pos­si­ble to con­tinue to of­fer even con­di­tional sup­port for his can­di­dacy”. He said he and his wife, Cindy, will not be vot­ing for Trump.

Mitt Rom­ney, the 2012 Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent, had ear­lier con­demned the “vile degra­da­tions” ex­pressed by Trump. Rom­ney had re­fused to sup­port Trump as can­di­date and nom­i­nee.

Both McCain and Rom­ney stopped short of call­ing for Trump’s with­drawal from the elec­tion.

Other Repub­li­can party mem­bers, mean­while, were adamant that Trump leave the race al­to­gether, with Carly Fio­r­ina, an op­po­nent dur­ing the pri­mary, urg­ing him to “step aside” and for the party “to re­place him with [Gover­nor] Mike Pence.”

Repub­li­can Se­na­tor Mike Lee of the US state of Utah also urged Trump to quit the race, as has a grow­ing list of mem­bers of Congress and other elected of­fi­cials.

An­other se­na­tor, Mike Crapo of Idaho, also joined in the cho­rus of calls for Trump to quit: “This is not a de­ci­sion that I have reached lightly, but his pat­tern of be­hav­iour left me no choice.”

Mean­while, Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Mark Kirk and John Thune took to so­cial me­dia urg­ing Trump to with­draw from the race.

It was re­vealed on Fri­day that Trump, a for­mer — re­al­ity star and New York bil­lion­aire, had made lewd and sex­u­ally charged com­ments about women back in 2005.

Trump bragged about kiss­ing, grop­ing and try­ing to have sex with women on a video record­ing re­leased by the Wash­ing­ton Post and NBC News on Fri­day.

The re­marks were cap­tured by a live mi­cro­phone that Trump did not ap­pear to know was record­ing their con­ver­sa­tion.

The video’s re­lease comes just two days be­fore Trump will face his ri­val, Hil­lary Clin­ton, in their sec­ond pres­i­den­tial de­bate, and as he con­fronts a se­ries of sto­ries about his past com­ments about women.

Af­ter the re­lease of the video, Trump apol­o­gised via his Twit­ter page.

“I’ve never said I’m a per­fect per­son, nor pre­tended to be some­one that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I re­gret . . . Any­one who knows me knows these words don’t re­flect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apol­o­gise,” he said in a filmed state­ment.

Bill Schneider, a political an­a­lyst and pro­fes­sor of pol­icy, gov­ern­ment and in­ter­na­tional af­fairs at Ge­orge Ma­son Univer­sity, said that Trump’s words were “dev­as­tat­ing” and “poi­sonous”.

“Most Amer­i­cans al­ready think he’s not qual­i­fied [to be US pres­i­dent], but this just con­firms that,” Schneider said.

“If he stays in the race, that’s his de­ci­sion, but he’s al­most cer­tain to lose.”

Schneider said, how­ever, that de­spite the blun­der, Trump’s “core sup­port­ers will prob­a­bly stay with him”.

Char­lie Wolf, a Repub­li­can com­men­ta­tor, said that Trump’s state­ments were in­de­fen­si­ble.

“But I also think, there is some­thing to be said about the tim­ing of this,” Wolf said, adding “there’s hypocrisy” about the con­tro­versy, cit­ing the record of for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton.

As pres­i­dent, Clin­ton was caught hav­ing sex­ual re­la­tions with a woman, other than his wife Hil­lary, who is the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date.

Trump has a long his­tory of mak­ing lewd and highly sex­ual com­ments to­wards and about women.

The As­so­ci­ated Press news agency re­ported this week that dur­ing his years as a re­al­ity TV star on The Ap­pren­tice, Trump re­peat­edly de­meaned women with sex­ist lan­guage, rat­ing fe­male con­tes­tants by the size of their breasts, and talk­ing about which ones he would like to have sex with. — Al Jazeera

Oro­mia has ex­pe­ri­enced protests since Novem­ber 2015 as peo­ple have called for wider political free­doms Reuters

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