A deeply wounded Donald Trump struggled to salvage his presidential campaign Saturday as Republicans who had remained at his side out of loyalty or fear abandoned him to try to save themselves and their party’s congressional majorities.
Even as the GOP nominee insisted he would remain in the race and battle Democrat Hillary Clinton in Sunday’s second presidential debate, a parade of Senate and House incumbents and party challengers repudiated him throughout the day for vulgar comments made in a 2005 interview made public Friday. The video included his assertion that he was able to grope women because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
The public enmity toward the party’s standard-bearer one month before election day marked a brutal break from what had been the practice during earlier Trump controversies. Before now, most Republicans would disavow his statements and urge him to watch his words — without taking the additional step of saying they would not back him for president.