“Mike Pence took aim at Bill Clinton on Thursday, saying ‘character matters to the presidency,'” said a Politico story on September 23rd. Pence continued: “Donald Trump will bring the highest level of integrity to the highest office in the land. You can count on it.”
On October 7th, the Washington Post released a tape from 2005 in which Donald Trump said of an unnamed woman, “I did try and f*** her. She was married. And I moved on her very heavily… I moved on her like a b****, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.” He went on to describe his approach to all beautiful women: “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”
The New York Times also ran a story on the same day about how Donald Trump tried to force himself on Jill Harth, a potential business partner at the time. From that story:
He offered Harth a tour of the estate and then pulled her into the empty bedroom of his daughter Ivanka.
“I was admiring the decoration, and next thing I know he’s pushing me against a wall and has his hands all over me,” Harth told me. “He was trying to kiss me. I was freaking out.”
So, Governor Pence, and all Trump endorsers: where is this integrity? Where is this character?
One argument that will not disappear is that Trump will appoint acceptably conservative justices to the Supreme Court, while Hillary Clinton is guaranteed to appoint pro-choice progressives. The evidence for this claim is that he said he would.
Trump also said vows of faithfulness to Ivana Zelníčková, then to Maria Maples, then to Melania Knauss.
There is no integrity to be found in this man.
These stories are nothing new. Throughout the Republican primary, Trump showed us his character. He implied Megyn Kelly asked tough questions because of menstruation. He insulted Carly Fiorina’s face. He retweeted an insult of Heidi Cruz’s appearance on Twitter. His treatment of women during the primary alone should have been enough to reveal his vile nature, let alone his record before the election, which includes calling Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig.”
Meanwhile, the Republican party is responding with disgust, but not disavowal. Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Reince Priebus all condemned Trump’s remarks, but have yet to repeal their endorsement of him as a candidate. This is not a satisfactory response. Ideally, Trump would have been rejected by voters from the start, or at least at the convention. If, after this new volley of shameful revelations, the GOP still cannot separate itself from Trump, there is no way the Christian Right can ever trust the party to represent its interests ever again.
Republicans need to answer one question, and answer it very carefully:
Does character matter?