GOP leaders Friday night spoke out against Donald Trump in what appeared to be a coordinated show of continued endorsement for the Republican candidate who was caught on tape admitting he likes to grab women “by the pussy.”
The curious admission of sexual assault presents not only a physiological issue—how do you even... do that...—but also an existential one for the party, which faces a crossroads between supporting Trump or not supporting Trump and has evidently decided it’s too late now.
Which is not to say leaders aren’t denouncing his comments—so far Paul Ryan, John McCain, Reince Preibus, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and even Jeb! have spoken out with barely concealed rage at the fact that they got beat by a man who brags about kissing with all the aplomb of a fifth grader with an older brother. (“I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” he can be heard telling Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush on the leaked tape.)
Their responses vary; Paul Ryan declared himself “sickened” and reportedly uninvited Trump from a Wisconsin event, John McCain tried desperately to distance himself, and Ted Cruz, well his punishment is he has to be Ted Cruz for the rest of his life. But there’s one thing none of them did, which was withdraw their support.
According to reports, Mike Pence will replace Trump at the Wisconsin event, if you can even believe it.