SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 7, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah’s leading politicians are expressing shock and anger over sexually explicit comments made by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as he was preparing for a TV appearance back in 2005.
The lewd comments, which were captured on video when Trump was 60, were released Friday afternoon by The Washington Post. Trump was about to record a segment for the tabloid TV show “Access Hollywood” with its host Billy Bush when he launched into a three-minute conversation about the ease with which he routinely kissed and groped women who were overwhelmed by his fame.
“… when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump is heard saying to Bush. “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
He also spoke of his attempts to seduce a married woman.
Friday night, four now-former Utah Trump supporters — Sen. Orrin Hatch, Gov. Gary Herbert, ex-governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., and U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz — were quick to distance themselves from their previous endorsements.
Hatch took to Twitter Friday night, saying, “Mr. Trump’s comments were offensive and disgusting. There is no excuse for such degrading behavior. All women deserve to be treated with respect.”
Herbert, in a statement also released via Twitter, called Trump’s comments “beyond offensive and despicable,” saying that while “I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I will not vote for Donald Trump.”
Ex-Utah governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., who just last week expressed his support for Trump as the candidate best suited to reform the nation’s tax code and campaign finance laws, told The Salt Lake Tribune, “… the time has come for Gov. Mike Pence to lead the ticket.”
Huntsman’s sentiments were echoed in a video statement released on Facebook by Utah’s junior Sen. Mike Lee. Lee took Trump to task for referring to his past statements as a distraction to the campaign:
“With all due respect, sir, you, sir, are the distraction. Your conduct, sir, is the distraction. It’s the distraction from the very principles that will help us win in November. You yourself, Mr. Trump, have stated repeatedly that the goal, the objective, has got to be to defeat Hillary Clinton in November. I couldn’t agree more. It’s for precisely that reason, Mr. Trump, that I respectfully ask you with all due respect, to step aside. Step down. Allow someone else to carry the banner of these principles.”
Chaffetz also pulled his endorsement of Trump, telling CNN, “I cannot support in any way, shape or form the comments or approach Donald Trump has taken. This is so over the top, it is not even acceptable in locker rooms. It shouldn’t be acceptable anywhere. We are talking about the president of the United States. I want someone with high morals.”