Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump says that he is probably better off without the support of some members of his party. Many leading Republican officials recently withdrew their support for Trump, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan.
The Republicans’ withdrawal followed the release of a video from 2005. In it, Trump said that he kisses and touches women sexually without their permission.
“…when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said. That includes, he continued, grabbing women in their private areas.
The Washington Post newspaper first published the video. In it, Trump was speaking off-camera to journalist Billy Bush. At the time, Bush hosted the entertainment news program Access Hollywood. The two men were on a bus going to a television studio. They were speaking informally but wearing microphones that recorded their conversation.
Trump later apologized for the comments he made on the video. He called the conversation “locker room talk.” In other words, the conversation included rude, sexual language between men that was not meant to be heard in public.
Trump added Tuesday in a Fox News interview that many women have told him they have heard much worse.
"If that's what it is going to take to lose an election, that will be pretty sad," Trump said in the interview.
Since the video was released last week, Trump has fallen sharply in national polls. He now trails Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by 14 points. A week ago, the polls showed Clinton leading by only seven points.
Politicians answer Trump
Republicans who have withdrawn their support for Trump include former Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
McCain said in a statement that Trump’s behavior and comments “make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”
But Trump does not appear to be concerned about losing support from other party leaders. He wrote on Twitter Tuesday that “it is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”
In his interview Tuesday on Fox News, Trump said that Ryan and other powerful Republicans would support him in office if he wins the election.
President Barack Obama’s administration said Obama found Trump's remarks about touching women "repugnant," or disgusting. He said he considered it sexual assault.
Women answer Trump
Women voters, including longtime Republicans, have also been turned off by Trump’s 2005 comments.
Esther Rosser is a 71-year-old grandmother from Virginia. She has voted for Republicans candidates her whole life. But she said she has decided to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, in part because of Trump’s remarks about women.
“I know he apologized, and all you can do is apologize, but he could have said more,” Rosser told the Reuters news agency. “He disrespected us.”
LeighAnn Chase is a 27-year-old registered Republican voter from Florida. She told Reuters that she “can’t in good conscience vote for someone with that kind of mindset to the presidency.” She said she is now supporting Clinton.
But some women voters are sticking with Trump.
Amy Fryzelka is from Missouri. She told Reuters she thought Trump’s remarks were “horrible,” but she believed his personal life would not affect how he would govern. She said she will probably vote for Trump because she does not trust Clinton.
"I'd prefer not to vote for either of them, really," Fryzelka said.
Trump says Hillary Clinton disrespects women
Trump apologized again for his 2005 words during Sunday's presidential debate with Hillary Clinton. He said he was embarrassed about what he said.
But he also said that Clinton threatened several women who had accused her husband, former President Bill Clinton, of sexual attacks. Trump gave three of those women seats at the debate and pointed them out to the audience several times.
On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton ignored the sexual assault issue. She spoke in Miami, Florida, about what she called a global crisis: climate change. She said the U.S. could take the lead in dealing with it.
Clinton said she fully backed the Paris Agreement on climate change. She reminded the crowd that Trump has called global warming a Chinese-created hoax.
I’m Dorothy Gundy
And I'm Ashley Thompson.
Caty Weaver and Ashley Thompson adapted this VOA News story for Learning English, with additional materials from Reuters. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.
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Words in This Story
better off - adj. in a better position
locker room - n. a room in a school, sports stadium, etc., for changing clothes and for storing clothes and equipment in lockers
informally - adv. relaxed in tone: not suited for serious or official speech and writing
nasty - adj. unpleasant and unkind
rude - adj. relating to sex or other body functions in a way that offends others
poll - n. study of voters opinions
trail - v. to be behind in a race or competition
shackles - n. one of two rings or bands that are placed around a person's wrists or ankles and that are connected by a chain; (figuratively) something that prevents people from acting freely
repugnant - adj. causing a strong feeling of dislike or disgust
turned off - phrasal verb. to start to dislike something or someone
remarks - n. comments
conscience - n. the part of the mind that makes you aware of your actions as being either morally right or wrong
assault - n. the crime of trying or threatening to hurt someone physically
hoax - n. an act that is meant to trick or deceive people