SPRINGFIELD, MO — As other Republicans — including a senator in a tough reelection race — withdraw their support of Donald Trump after the release of a 2005 tape in which he discussed making unwanted sexual advances on woman, Sen. Roy Blunt (R) showed no signs of reversing his support of Trump in a brief interview with TPM after a campaign event in Springfield, Missouri.
“I am glad to see that he understands more about the country now than he believes he did when this process started,” Blunt said, referring to a comment Trump made in his apology for the remarks. “I think if you want to solve the problems that have been created over the last eight years, you can’t have a third Obama administration. So he needs to be vigorous in explaining how he is a different man than that person, but how he hopes to lead the country and I think he may very well get that done.”
The Washington Post published the video Friday afternoon, just as Blunt was in between events in the Springfield after. After his last event of the day he told a National Review reporter he had not yet heard the tape. Later that night he tweeted that Trump’s remarks were “disrespectful and inappropriate” while noting the video apology Trump had released.
Donald Trump’s statements were disrespectful and inappropriate, and he was right to apologize.
— RoyBluntMO (@RoyBluntMO) October 8, 2016
Blunt is in a competitive re-election race with Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D). Trump is polling handily ahead of Hillary Clinton in the state.
A number of elected Republicans have said that they cannot vote for Trump after the tape, including Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who is facing a tough re-election race against Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-NH).
Asked by TPM if he was worried about the effect the Republicans’ withdrawals of their Trump endorsement could have down-the-ballot, Blunt said, “I am not worried about that.”