Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, joined the cavalcade of Republicans withdrawing their support for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in the wake of Friday’s revelation that the businessman made controversial comments.
McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, became the most senior Republican so far to abandon Trump amid the biggest political crisis of his presidential candidacy. The party fears that Trump’s toxicity, particularly among female voters, could hurt the entire GOP ballot.
“There are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video…He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences,” McCain said in a statement.
He had come under fire earlier today from his opponent, Rep. Ann Kirpatrick, D-Arizona, whose campaign has been flailing of late as McCain solidified his lead into the low double digits in what has been the most difficult election since his first race for Senate in 1986. Democrats accused McCain, who had been on the receiving end of many sharp attacks from Trump, of supporting the nominee just to get through his Aug. 30 primary against a Trump supporter.
However, McCain said in an late August interview he had “no plans” to dump Trump once the primary was over, and after barely exceeding 50 percent in that Aug. 30 ballot, the 80-year-old incumbent had spent most of time accusing Kirkpatrick of being too liberal for the right-leaning state while studiously avoiding discussing Trump.
These latest comments, from a hot microphone in 2005, were the final straw for McCain, whose wife, Cindy, has devoted much of her time in the family foundation to women’s rights, particularly abuse of women in Third World nations.
McCain now joins the entire Bush family and Mitt Romney in not supporting Trump, meaning the party’s presidential nominees in 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 do not back Trump.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Paul Kane