Republican lawmakers seemed to be abandoning Donald Trump en masse over the weekend after a tape surfaced of Trump speaking crudely about women. But it’s a delicate dance for some members, and we now have a new category of weaselly hair-splitting.
A total of four members of Congress are now saying they will still vote for Trump for president after calling over the weekend for him to step aside and for Mike Pence to replace him.
Here’s what they said originally, and what they’re saying now.
Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
Tuesday: “He has a lot of work to do, I think, to win this election,” Thune told the Rapid City Journal, which reported that Thune would still likely cast his ballot for Trump. “But, I’m certainly not going to vote for Hillary Clinton.”
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Tuesday: “I plan to vote for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence on November 8,” she said on Nebraska’s KLIN. “I put out a statement … with regard to Mr. Trump’s comments. I felt they were disgusting. I felt they were unacceptable and I never said I was not voting for our Republican ticket.”
Saturday: “The comments made by Mr. Trump were disgusting and totally unacceptable under any circumstance. It would be wise for him to step aside and allow Mike Pence to serve as our party’s nominee,” Fischer told the Omaha World-Herald.
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Tuesday: “The truth is Scott Garrett’s position has been consistent from the beginning. On Saturday, he denounced Donald Trump’s reprehensible comments and said he believes in Mike Pence. He has always believed that [Democratic nominee] Hillary Clinton is not the candidate whose leadership and policies are right for America. Donald Trump remains the nominee of the Republican Party, and Rep. Garrett has always said he will vote for the Republican Party nominee,” his spokesman said according to the Observer. Scott Garrett’s top priority in this election is stopping the Clinton-Gottheimer agenda of higher taxes, more wasteful spending, and weak national security policy.”
Saturday: “I am appalled that he would brag about violating a woman’s physical boundaries. As a husband and father of two daughters, I denounce his comments and the behavior that it incites,” Garrett said in a statement. “I believe that Mike Pence would be the best nominee for the Republican Party to defeat Hillary Clinton.”
Bradley Byrne (R-AL)
Saturday: “It is now clear Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States and cannot defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe he should step aside and allow Governor Pence to lead the Republican ticket,” Byrne said according to a statement posted by a local NBC affiliate.