We’ve seen this act before.
This time, a private 2005 conversation Trump had with television host Billy Bush was leaked where he essentially boasted of his proclivity for sexual harassment.
“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women] – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” he said in the leaked audio. “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.
“Grab them by the pussy,” was one such example.
As Jeffrey St. Clair, editor of Counterpunch, observed, what Trump said in his conversation with Bush is probably no worse than private discussions had by Presidents Kennedy and Clinton, two other notorious objectifiers of women. They were just never recorded.
Imagine getting tapes of JFK and Bubba. Trump’s caddishness sounds sophomoric. Those two had PhDs in lecheryhttps://t.co/111awUdcyW
— Jeffrey St. Clair (@JSCCounterPunch) October 7, 2016
According to Politico, unnamed Republican National Committee lawyers are looking for ways to deny Trump the party’s nomination – one month before the election. It’s not going happen, as “the lawyers have concluded that Trump would have to cooperate in any attempt to replace him,” the article noted, based on another anonymous GOP insider.
The hopelessness of their cause aside, the reaction from the party establishment – the very leaders who Trump won the nomination by attacking – was swift.
Here are some tweets:
Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) October 8, 2016
Trump endorsed Romney in 2012 and after the former Massachusetts governor refused to turn the favour this year, was dubbed “irrelevant” and a “choke artist.”
Donald’s comments were vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify.
No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 8, 2016
Rubio was the scion of the party establishment before his campaign collapsed and was trounced by Trump in his own state, Florida.
As the grandfather of two precious girls, I find that no apology can excuse away Donald Trump’s reprehensible comments degrading women.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) October 7, 2016
I’m not sure whether Mitt Romney, “Little” Marco Rubio or “Low Energy” Jeb Bush’s denunciations will hurt so much as help Trump’s campaign, as they feed into the narrative that the establishment is out to get The Donald.
But when your own running mate denounces you, after spending an entire debate denying your more controversial positions, you’re in trouble.
Mike Pence went so far as to issue a formal statement, expressing his remorse at Trump’s comments, which he emphasized are from 11 years ago.
My statement below: pic.twitter.com/92VYEAxIcl
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 8, 2016
The Donald was naturally on the defensive when he released a video statement last night, which looks like it was filmed on the set of a late night television show.
“I said it. I was wrong and I apologize,” he said shortly before implying that it’s not too big a deal. “This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today,” citing job losses, government corruption and national security.
“I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims,” said Trump.
“See you at the debate on Sunday,” he concludes. Looks like it’s going to be a nasty one.