The wave of Republican candidates shunning Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after a recording emerged Friday of him boasting about groping women is beginning to reach California's House races.
Freshman GOP Congressman Steve Knight (R-Lancaster) has been hit by his Democratic opponent and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee with ads attempting to tie him to Trump. He called Trump's comments "repulsive" in a Facebook post Friday night.
Knight's political consultant Matt Rexroad told The Times in August that Knight had not endorsed a candidate for president. He did not respond when asked Friday if Knight would vote for Trump. Knight's House seat is one that national Democrats are intent on capturing due to shifting demographics and the idea that Trump may cause problems down the ticket.
"These comments are repugnant, and unacceptable in any circumstance. As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape."
Donald Trump apologized Friday night for his boasting about groping women, but dismissed a newly released 2005 recording of his vulgar remarks as “nothing more than a distraction.”
“Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” said Trump, whose frequent derogatory comments about women have proved a major liability. “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”
In the videotaped statement posted on his Facebook page, Trump also tried to minimize the significance of the lewd remarks that included a statement that he could grab women by the crotch because he was a “star.”
"There are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments. No woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior," McCain said in a statement. "He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.”
Last year, Trump mocked McCain's military record in comments that Hillary Clinton's campaign has used repeatedly to suggest the Republican is the wrong choice for veterans. McCain has offered grudging support for Trump, saying he would support his party's nominee.
"I am sickened by what I heard today," Ryan said in a statement. "Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”
On Saturday, Ryan was scheduled to campaign with Trump for the first time, embracing a GOP presidential nominee whom he denounced on several occasions in the past. But, he said in the statement, "he is no longer attending tomorrow’s event in Wisconsin."