Republican Congressman Tom McClintock on Monday criticized his “hand-wringing” GOP peers for breaking with presidential nominee Donald Trump since the leak on Friday of an 11-year-old tape that showed him crudely describing his use of his fame to kiss and grab women.
McClintock, of Elk Grove, was silent on the tape through the weekend, not responding to a request for comment from The Bee on Saturday.
Late Monday, McClintock posted a sharply worded statement on his website in which he called the tape a “diversion” meant to distract voters from crucial questions about the country’s future. He wrote that he favors Trump because of his positions on the economy, immigration and guns, among other stances.
“Donald Trump wasn’t my first or even second choice for president, but I can certainly tell the difference between a fire and a fireman. And when a fireman is trying to save my house from burning down, the fact he uses lewd and vulgar language in private conversations with other guys doesn’t change the nature of the emergency,” McClintock wrote.
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McClintock likened Trump’s remarks, which were first reported by The Washington Post, to the behavior of two former Democratic presidents. One was former President Bill Clinton, whose sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky led to his impeachment. The other was John F. Kennedy, who also was rumored to have had affairs in the White House.
“Ironically, Trump’s words spoken many years ago precisely describe Bill Clinton’s behavior over many years, which Hillary Clinton has actively excused, enabled and abetted. How odd that the same Democratic mouthpieces who defended Clinton’s disgraceful deeds are incensed at Trump’s disgraceful words,” McClintock wrote.
McClintock reiterated his support for Trump after a series of prominent Republicans retracted their endorsements of the nominee, including former Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
On Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan rebuffed Trump in announcing that he would not campaign for the nominee this month. Instead, Ryan is focusing on helping the party maintain its majority in Congress.