Sens. John Thune and Rob Portman joined other Republicans Saturday to distance themselves from presidential nominee Donald Trump in light of the 2005 video leaked Friday with his negative and sexually suggestive comments about women.
Thune, the South Dakota chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, took to Twitter to call for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to become the party's nominee:
Portman, who is seeking a second term this fall in Ohio, said in a statement that "Donald Trump's comments were offensive and wrong.
"I had hoped to support the candidate my party nominated in the primary process. I thought it was appropriate to respect the millions of voters across the country who chose Donald Trump as the Republican Party nominee.
"While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him," Portman said. "I continue to believe our country cannot afford a Hillary Clinton presidency.
"I will be voting for Mike Pence for president."
The senators followed many Republicans – including Pence, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice – who have denounced Trump for the comments.
Trump issued a videotaped apology late Friday and vowed Saturday to remain in the race.
His wife, Melania, also condemned the comments in a statement on Saturday.
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