Sen. John McCain has warned his re-election campaign volunteers they will likely have to deal with an "angry" backlash following his decision to no longer endorse GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
In an audio tape posted by Talking Points Memo on Thursday, the Arizona Republican and 2008 GOP nominee elaborated on his decision, saying it was not Trump's lewd comments about women – exposed in a 2005 hot-mic videotape posted by the Washington Post on Oct. 7.
"He made a number of other comments and I always left it alone," McCain said at an event for volunteers in Phoenix, where early voting was getting under way Wednesday, TPM reported.
McCain is in a re-election battle with Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.
"It wasn't a comment," McCain said. "It was a statement about what he did. I found that frankly something that I can't support. I have a wife, I have daughters. I'm proud to serve in the Senate with outstanding women."
In the days following the videotape release, McCain and some other GOP elected officials withdrew their support of the party's standard-bearer.
"All I can say is there are a lot of angry people out there, and you're hearing from 'em on the phones, and all I can do is tell ya' that I have to examine my conscience," McCain added.
"I do what I believe is right. I am a loyal Republican, but I also have an obligation to the people of Arizona whether they're Republican or Democratic or whatever.
"So I know that you are going to get a lot of feedback on the phone about my decision, and all I can tell you my dear friends is there are times in my political life when I've done things for political reasons, I've always regretted it. When I've done things because they were the right thing to do, I've never regretted it."
The volunteers then applauded, TPM reported.
"I would be letting you down; I would be letting you down," McCain said.
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