House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said his Saturday campaign appearance with Donald Trump has been called off in the wake of revelations of lewd comments the GOP nominee made about women in 2005.
Ryan’s campaign office released a media advisory Thursday saying he would be at the annual Fall Fest in Walworth County, Wis., with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Gov. Scott Walker and other GOP officials.
“Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump will also join Wisconsin Republicans at the 1st Congressional District Republican Party of Wisconsin Fall Fest,” the advisory added. It would have been the House speaker’s first time stumping with Trump since the Republican National Convention.
Late Friday afternoon, the Washington Post broke a story about Trump conversing on an open mic with host Billy Bush of Access Hollywood before a taping about trying to sleep with a married woman and how he can’t resist beautiful women. “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said. “Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”
Ryan released a statement this evening saying he was “sickened” by the tape.
“Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests,” Ryan continued.
“In the meantime, he is no longer attending tomorrow’s event in Wisconsin.”
Trump released a statement after Ryan: “Governor Mike Pence will be representing me tomorrow in Wisconsin,” he said. “I will be spending the day in New York in debate prep with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Jeff Sessions, and then flying to St. Louis on Sunday for the 2nd Presidential Debate.”
Trump had not tweeted since late Thursday.
Priebus released a brief statement: “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.”
The top GOP woman in the House, Chairwoman of the House Republican Conference Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), released a statement noting that she had previously said she “would not hesitate” to voice disagreement with Trump “when he says something that I believe should not be part of our political dialogue.”
“It is never appropriate to condone unwanted sexual advances or violence against women,” she said. “Mr. Trump must realize that it has no place in public or private conversations today or in the past.”
GOP senators in swing states were quickly coming out with their own statements.
“Donald’s comments were vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify. No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), released his statement in English and Spanish: “I condemn in the strongest possible terms Donald Trump’s comments. The language he used was disgraceful and there are no circumstances where such behavior is acceptable.”
Hillary Clinton took the lead in Arizona — by 2 points — in a new Emerson poll released Thursday. Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who is not up for re-election, tweeted that “America deserves far better” than Trump.
Another swing state senator in a tough re-election fight, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), tweeted, “Donald Trump’s comments were outrageous and unacceptable.”
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) tweeted: “DJT is a malignant clown – unprepared and unfit to be president of the United States.” Kirk, who is in a difficult re-election fight against Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), also tweeted that Trump should drop out and the Republican Party “should engage rules for emergency replacement.”