Donald Trump remains committed to the presidential race amid outrage over a recently surfaced 2005 Access Hollywood video, where the GOP nominee was recorded bragging over kissing and groping women and trying to have sex with a married woman.
In response to the video, Trump put out a statement, saying, "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 and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them."
“Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize," he also said.
Trump issued the statement ahead of the second presidential debate on Sunday, and with the election one month away, some Republicans are turning their back on the candidate.
CBN News shared this statement from Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.): "As disappointed as I've been with his antics throughout this campaign, I thought supporting the nominee was the best thing for our country and our party. Now, it is abundantly clear that the best thing for our country and our party is for Trump to step aside and allow a responsible, respectable Republican to lead the ticket."
The time to replace Trump on the ticket may already have passed. “With just a month until Election Day, experts say it would be logistically nearly impossible for the Republican Party to replace its nominee, and many Republicans seem to be waiting to see what happens in the coming hours,” the Washington Post reports. But this result is just what Carly Fiorina called for in a post on her Facebook page Saturday. "Today I ask Donald Trump to step aside and for the RNC to replace him with Gov. Mike Pence," Fiorina wrote. "Our nominee has weighty responsibilities... Donald Trump has manifestly failed in these responsibilities."
In his apology, Trump insisted he would not drop out of the race. “We will discuss this more in the coming days,” Trump said at the end of the video. “See you at the debate on Sunday.”
A growing number of religious leaders are speaking out against Trump’s lewd comments.
“What a disgrace. What a scandal to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the integrity of our witness,” tweeted Russell Moore, chief policy spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention and a staunch Trump foe.
Religion News Service shared that Owen Strachan, director of the Center for Public Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, had this to say about Trump. “We … boggle at how some Christians and conservatives still defend Donald Trump,” Strachan wrote. “Without telling anyone who to vote for, let me speak directly: his words are inexcusable. His conduct is reprehensible. He deserves no defense.”
Still, other evangelicals are coming to Trump’s defense. "People of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, grow the economy, appoint conservative judges and oppose the Iran nuclear deal," said Ralph Reed, the founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition and a Trump supporter. Dr. Ben Carson opined that the timing of the release of Trump's comments is a ploy by progressives. While condemning "any form of disrespect towards women," Carson also believes Trump "did the right thing" by apologizing and that voters "must be wise enough to recognize the scheme that is being played out here."
According to RNS, Trump appeared to be “significantly underperforming” with evangelical voters even before the Access Hollywood tape surfaced. “One crucial question… is whether this latest outrage would finally repel conservative Christians who are key to the GOP’s hopes for recapturing the White House next month,” RNS reporter David Gibson writes. Time will tell.
Publication date: October 8, 2016