WASHINGTON — The Catholic political advocacy group CatholicVote.org has joined calls for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to step down following his lewd comments about women in a leaked audio recording from 2005.
“Newly released comments by Donald Trump … are disgusting and simply indefensible,” the organization wrote in an Oct. 8 statement. “Catholic voters rightly will be unnerved by these developments.”
“In our own opinion the viability of Donald Trump’s candidacy is now in question. Furthermore, the good many hoped to achieve, in spite of Trump’s many well-known flaws, is also now in doubt. If Donald Trump is unwilling to step aside, the Republican National Committee must act soon out of basic decency and self-preservation.”
Just the day before the interview was made public, Trump wrote a letter to Catholic leaders during a two-day conference in Denver, identifying himself as pro-life and vowing to support core values such as religious liberty and school choice.
In his Oct. 6 letter to Catholic leaders, among other things, he stated, “I will defend your religious liberties and the right to fully and freely practice your religion, as individuals, business owners and academic institutions.”
CatholicVote.org isn’t the only organization calling for Trump to step down from the presidential race. Many leading Republicans, including erstwhile candidate Carly Fiorina, 2008 president nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte have withdrawn their endorsements of Trump following the leak.
And on Monday, The Washington Post reported that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said he will no longer defend Trump and will focus on maintaining the majority in Congress.
NJ.com also reported Monday that vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence canceled a speaking engagement at a fundraiser sponsored by the Ocean County Republican Organization.
Trump, who has since apologized and said he regrets making those statements, told The Wall Street Journal Saturday that, despite these calls to step down, there is “zero chance I’ll quit.” In the leaked video, Trump uses graphic language in bragging to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush about kissing, groping and trying to seduce married women. Trump tells Bush, “When you’re a star, they let you do it.”
CatholicVote.org has said Trump’s comments in the recording are indefensible.
“Christians should not waste their breath defending them,” the organization said. “The mere fact that this conversation is occurring in the context of a presidential campaign impoverishes us all.”