- Key Republican figures Condoleezza Rice, Paul Ryan and John McCain withdraw support for Donald Trump.
— Condoleezza Rice (@CondoleezzaRice) 8. Oktober 2016
- Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Rice wrote on Facebook October 8th: “Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw. As a Republican, I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth.”
- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released a statement October 8, 2016, withdrawing his support of Donald Trump:
“In addition to my well known differences with Donald Trump on public policy issues, I have raised questions about his character after his comments on Prisoners of War, the Khan Gold Star family, Judge Curiel and earlier inappropriate comments about women. Just this week, he made outrageous statements about the innocent men in the Central Park Five case. As I said yesterday, there are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences. I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated. He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it was important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. I thought I owed his supporters that deference.
But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy. Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me on this.
Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President.”
The photo above shows both of them.
- Hillary Clinton pulled ahead to an 11 point lead over the scandal-hit weekend.
- New developments promise chaos in Congress in the event of a Trump victory.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) 13. Oktober 2016
A week can be a long time in politics and with polling day just a month away it’s fair to say that Donald Trump has had one to regret. In the wake of damaging revelations about the Republican candidate’s tax affairs and the latest shocking sexist remarks, recorded in 2005 but released this Friday, a mean-spirited debate saw Mr Trump on the offensive, displaying all the hallmarks of a cornered animal baring it’s teeth in desperation. Then again, the outspoken property tycoon has been no stranger to controversy throughout both his business life and this unlikely, against-all-odds political career.
So why has Friday’s revelation rocked the Trump boat in a way that racist comments about Mexicans, Islam or slurs against captured POWs never did? Why is he hemorrhaging support from key Republicans such as Condoleezza Rice, Paul Ryan and John McCain? Why now?
The answer is depressingly simple. Donald Trump’s supporters can shrug off or even embrace xenophobic slurs against Mexicans and Muslims, people who they may not know of care to think about. What is so damaging about the violent language in which he described “grab(ing)” women “by the p****” is that it is directed against the mothers, daughters and wives that make up the family of, well, everyone.
It was an attack on every single voter regardless of allegiance, race or social status. In a campaign largely defined by controversy and division, this has proved to be the last straw for Republican leadership and might become a case of political suicide when it comes to winning the undecided votes that Trump needs to propel himself into the White House. Despite making a brief apology the sorry affair has been followed by typically aggressive language and a return to business as usual for Mr Trump.
It’s been a rocky road from the very start for the New Yorker who, remarkably, has seemed to weather previous scandals in a now-trademark bullish and unapologetic style, even harnessing the controversy to reinforce his image as the political outsider the USA needs. That image is now severely tarnished for undecided voters and with Hillary Clinton growing her lead in the polls, the businessman and television personality is surely counting the cost of his hunger for media hype and attention over the years. Republican voters appear to be sticking to a Trump vote for now despite the backlash but in the event of an increasingly unlikely Republican victory, you have to ask what kind of relationship Donald Trump hopes to have with the political elite he seems so intent on alienating. Running the vast machine of government requires mutual goodwill, just look at the fractured relationship between Obama and the congressional deadlock that attempted to block his every move, and Mr Trump is awfully short on goodwill.
There is one month until the USA goes to the polls to choose the next president. Donald Trump needs an ace up his sleeve to regain ground and convince many of his fitness to serve, a topic that has come to dominate this election race.
Photo Credit: Flickr/ Gage Skidmore