Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump dropped plans to attend a weekend rally in Wisconsin, as a political firestorm swirled around his campaign over lewd comments he made about women more than a decade ago.
Trump was set to appear Saturday at a Republican rally in Walworth County – his first event campaigning alongside House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). However, Ryan said in a statement late Friday evening that Trump would no longer be attending the event.
Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is expected to attend the rally in Trump’s place.
The announcement came several hours after the Washington Post released a video of Trump talking to an entertainment reporter in 2005. The video shows Trump making several crude and comments about women, while also describing a failed attempt to have sex with a woman.
The incident sparked a fresh barrage of criticism for the GOP nominee, including from several members of the Republican Party. Speaker Ryan said in a statement that he was “sickened” by the comments. “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,” he said.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also said in a statement that “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.”
Republican Governor Scott Walker took to Twitter Friday night to comment, calling Trump’s comments “inexcusable” in a tweet.
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who is also attending Saturday’s rally, said in a statement that “Donald Trump’s recent comments are completely indefensible and I refuse to even attempt to try and do so.”
Trump released a statement after the story broke, calling his comments “locker-room banter.” He also apologized “if anyone was offended.”