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The Trump tape: Not all Utah Republicans leaving Donald’s side

First Published      Last Updated Oct 10 2016 10:40 am

Some Utah leaders recant support; Bishop sees no other option; Lee wants Trump to quit race.

From his marital infidelities to his call for a temporary ban on Muslims, Utah's Republican leaders were wary of Donald Trump long before now. But most still plan to vote for him.

That started to change late Friday, after a video from 2005 emerged showing him bragging about groping women in a way that would constitute sexual assault. Not every condemnation was the same, however. Here's a breakdown of what these political figures said and what it means at this pivotal moment in the 2016 presidential race:

The breaking point

For Gov. Gary Herbert and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Trump caught saying his celebrity power allows him to do what he wants with women, including "Grab them by the p---y," crossed a point of no return. They rescinded their endorsements and won't vote for him.

Trump initially responded to the controversy by saying it was "locker room banter." Chaffetz, who was a kicker for Brigham Young University's football team, has spent plenty of time in locker rooms and said "this is so over the top, it is not even acceptable in locker rooms. It shouldn't be acceptable anywhere. We are talking about the president of the United States. I want somebody of high moral values."

Herbert called Trump's comments "beyond offensive and despicable" and, like Chaffetz, said he won't vote for Trump — but he also won't vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Rep. Mia Love was still wrestling with whether she should vote for Trump, but this video ended that.

"His behavior and bravado have reached a new low. I cannot vote for him," she said early Saturday. "For the good of the party, he should step aside."

These three now join a small group of Utahns that includes Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who came to the same position well before this bombshell.

Not abandoning ship

On the flip side is a group of Utah Republicans who, so far, are sticking with Trump. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said the video "saddens me and again lowers the political rhetoric of this election year." But his choices are few.

"Hillary Clinton is unacceptable as a potential president. Unless he resigns, I must support the Republican nominee as my only option," Bishop said Saturday.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, state Attorney General Sean Reyes and state House Speaker Greg Hughes are among those who disavowed Trump's vulgar comments, which also included him saying he pursued a married woman "like a b----." But all remain in Trump's corner leading into the second presidential debate, slated for Sunday.

Hughes, who has been the most vocal Trump supporter in Utah, said: "To say I'm disappointed would be a gross understatement." He added: "In the coming debate, there will undoubtedly be questions about what we learned today. My hope is that there will be a sincere apology and an accounting for these statements."

Trump issued a short video on Facebook late Friday, in which he said: "Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it. I was wrong and I apologize."

Hughes said he was glad Trump released a response, but he didn't think that apology was sufficient.

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Call for Trump’s exit

A Deseret News editorial says GOP nominee should quit. › B7