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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Trump's comments spark panic, outrage among Florida Republicans



William March reports:

If the pressure on Republicans over supporting Donald Trump was already painful, it became agonizing this weekend following revelations of his lewd comments in 2005 about groping and seducing women — a few months after his third wedding.

On Saturday, Florida's statewide and local GOP candidates and party leaders used words like "disgust," "shock" and "outrage," often speaking through insulating layers of spokesmen, emails or tweets. They tiptoed up to the line of saying they'd vote against Trump, though few crossed it.

Democrats argued that this time, it wasn't enough for Republicans to reject Trump's comments without rejecting Trump.

They pounced on what one Democratic operative called Republicans' "pure, unadulterated political panic," and made it clear they intend to keep up pressure on the issue until election day in down-ballot races as well as the presidential campaign.

Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen urged Trump on Saturday to withdraw as her party's presidential nominee, joining a growing number of GOP members of Congress asking for his resignation.

"Trump doesn't represent our nation. I was not with Trump before and I'm not with him now. Trump must withdraw," Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

Citing his desire to shape his three sons' attitudes toward women, U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, retracted his support for Trump on Saturday, saying he won't vote for Trump or Hillary Clinton.

More here

[Last modified: Saturday, October 8, 2016 6:42pm]


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