Donald Trump on Sunday said he would not abandon the presidential race even after the leak of a 2005 video where he used lewd language about a woman. He said he still had “tremendous support”.
Trump is due to debate Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton later on Sunday. On social media he quashed speculation that he would leave the race.
“Tremendous support (except for some Republican leadership”). Thank you,” Trump tweeted.
“So many self-righteous hypocrites. Watch their poll numbers – and elections – go down!”
A number of Republican senators, and senior party officials have withdrawn their support for Trump and are calling on him to quit. Some pro-trump news sites suggested senior GOP officials – who never supported Trump’s candidacy – knew the tape was coming and failed to inform the Trump campaign.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump adviser, appeared on talk shows Sunday and said the Republican candidate could go on the offensive during Sunday’s debate and bring up Bill Clinton’s past infidelities. Trump has said after the first debate last month that he didn’t want to do that then because Chelsea Clinton was in the audience.
Giuliani, on NBC, said both Trump and Clinton were flawed candidates but that the former thought he owed it to his supporters to stay in the race.
“He obviously feels very bad about what he said, he’s apologised for it,” Giuliani said. “What he’d like to do is move on to the issues that are facing the American people.”
Republicans have also attacked Hillary Clinton, 68, over what they say was her role in trying to discredit women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.
Of the many allegations made against him, Clinton has only admitted affairs with with Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers. He settled a suit brought by Paula Jones, who claimed he exposed himself to her. Hillary Clinton called Flowers ‘trailer trash’ and Lewinsky a “narcissistic loony toon”. Other women that have made allegations against her husband, she referred to as bimbos.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell in a 2014 email leaked recently describes Hillary Clinton as having “a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, and not transformational.”
“I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect,” Powell wrote
He also described Bill Clinton as “still dicking bimbos at home,” reportedly citing reports from the New York Post.
According to Reuters on Sunday, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, interviewed on Fox News, called the Trump remarks “disgusting,” adding, “This is who this guy is.”
The news agency said the pressure on Trump, 70 would be immense. Sources told CNN the first questions would be about the uproar.
Trump has already had an uphill battle to win the White House. He also lacks the backing of a single mainstream media outlet.
Trump has survived a string of setbacks during this grueling campaign and is hoping that he can again recover.
According to Reuters, a new public opinion poll by POLITICO/Morning consult, taken just after news of the video broke, found that 39 percent of voters thought Trump should withdraw from the race; 45 percent said he should stay.
But his support among Republicans was largely holding, it said, according to the poll, which found that of those who said Trump should leave, only 12 percent identified themselves as Republicans.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile said the party would likely challenge any effort by Republicans to replace Trump as their candidate on the ballot, adding that it would be “very confusing” for voters with early ballots already being cast, Reuters reported.
It also said that Republican U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan was heckled by Trump supporters at a rally in his congressional district in Wisconsin on Saturday, after having disinvited Trump following the release of the recording of Trump making lewd remarks.
“You better back Trump!” they yelled. “You turned your back on him!” “Shame on you!”