Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s October surprise landed Friday, and the response has been quick in coming from California and beyond.
On Friday, The Washington Post released video from 2005 showing Trump boasting of trying to seduce a married woman and kissing and groping other women before appearing on the TV show “Access Hollywood.” Trump apologized for making the remarks Friday night and has vowed not to drop out of the race as Democrats and some Republicans have urged him to do.
Meanwhile, top Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney have condemned Trump’s remarks in unusually strong terms, especially a month before a crucial election.
Here are how California politicians and others have responded:
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who’s the Republican candidate for California’s 7th Congressional District
“Mr. Trump’s comments that were disclosed yesterday discuss conduct which is at best disgusting, and at worst criminal. I can no longer explain to my daughters why I am voting for Mr. Trump. As such, I will be voting for neither candidate for president.”
Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, Jones’ opponent
“After months of supporting Trump, Scott Jones’ latest statement is too little too late. On Election Day, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be elected president. If Scott Jones was truly committed to keeping Donald Trump from the White House, he’d pledge to support Clinton and call on Trump to quit.”
Former Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
“For the first time since I became a citizen in 1983, I will not vote for the Republican candidate for president. Like many Americans, I’ve been conflicted by this election – I still haven’t made up my mind about how exactly I will vote next month. … As proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label I hold above all else – American. So I want to take a moment today to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party – it is your duty.”
Washington state Republican Party chairwoman Susan Hutchinson
“He was a Democrat at the time, and he was channeling Bill Clinton. And the hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton to say this man does not belong in the White House when her husband defined this behavior is just absurd.”
California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, via Twitter
“You can’t frame this any other way – Trump is talking about sexual assault. He says he grabbed & kissed women without their consent.”
Steve Knight, Republican, U.S. congressman from the 25th Congressional District, via Facebook
“In my career as a law enforcement professional I was confronted with and worked tirelessly to end the horrific reality of violence toward women. After hearing Donald Trump’s inexcusable comments last night I was deeply disturbed & reminded of that reprehensible behavior. While I’ve never before endorsed a Presidential candidate, I’ve felt compelled to strongly condemn many of Mr. Trump’s previous outrageous remarks. And after serious consideration, I have decided that I cannot support either candidate for President. I will continue to focus on serving the people of the 25th Congressional District and fighting for our priorities here and in Washington DC.”
The official Twitter account of Tic Tac USA. (Trump asks for a Tic Tac mint before meeting actress Arianne Zucker in the video. He then discusses sexual advances he’s made toward other women.)
“Tic Tac respects all women. We find the recent statements and behavior completely inappropriate and unacceptable.”
Rep. Joe Heck, R-Las Vegas, candidate for U.S. Senate representing Nevada (had previously endorsed Trump)
“I believe any candidate for president of the United States should campaign with common ethical and moral values and decency. I accept that none of us are perfect. However, I can no longer look past this pattern of behavior and inappropriate comments from Donald Trump. Therefore, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to support him nor can I vote for Hillary Clinton.
“My wife, my daughters, my mother, my sister and all women deserve better. The American people deserve better. … I believe our only option is to formally ask Mr. Trump to step down and allow Republicans the opportunity to elect someone who will provide us with the strong leadership so desperately needed and one that Americans deserve.”
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Democrat, and a hopeful to replace Gov. Jerry Brown in 2019, via Twitter
“In Trump’s mind, fame & wealth give him a free pass to sexually assault women. Completely disgusting & unacceptable.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D- Mass., a vocal Trump critic, via Twitter
“@realdonaldtrump: Were you lying or was sexual assault part of your action every day? It’s a simple question. You should have to answer it.”