There was no contrite apology from Donald Trump about his lewd remarks about women in a 2005 recording at Sunday’s presidential debate. Instead, the Republican nominee called his remarks “locker room talk” – and then turned his attacks on Bill Clinton.
“If you look at Bill Clinton – far worse,” said Trump. “Mine were words, his were action.”
He added: “When Hillary brings up a point like that … I think it’s disgraceful and I think she should be ashamed of herself.”
Dozens of Republican leaders abandoned Trump’s campaign after The Washington Post unearthed the video over the weekend. In the recording, Trump brags in vulgar terms of trying to have sex with a married woman and of groping women’s genitals, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” He gave a tepid apology for his remarks over the weekend and said there is “zero chance” he will quit the race even as national GOP leaders call for him to step down.
Democrat Hillary Clinton said she was reminded of First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention: “When they go low, we go high.” And she said she wasn’t surprised by his refusal to sound contrite over the video.
“This is who Donald Trump is. And the question for us, the question our country must answer, is that this is not who we are,” said Clinton. “That’s why to go back to your question, I want to send a message – we all should – that America already is great, but we are great because we are good.”
Trump tried to rattle Clinton by appearing before the debate with a quartet of women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. One of the women, Paula Jones, sued Clinton for sexual harassment in 1994, and the case was settled out of court. Another is Juanita Broaddrick, who has long accused Bill Clinton of raping her nearly 40 years ago. He has denied her allegations.
The video tape came up minutes into the debate, and Trump tried to pivot almost as soon as it did. He brought up national security questions, Clinton’s use of a private email server and vowed to instruct his Attorney General to investigate her.
“This was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family, I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But when you have a world where you have ISIS chopping off people’s heads … Yes, I’m very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it’s locker room talk. I will knock the hell out of ISIS. I will defeat ISIS.”
In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal and many other Republican leaders have blasted Trump for the remarks on the videotape, but none have withdrawn their support for the candidate.
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