Otter, GOP stand by Trump after lewd comments

BOISE -- Idaho Gov. Butch Otter says he is not backing away from his endorsement of Donald Trump after the release of a 2005 video in which the Republican candidate makes vulgar comments about sexually assaulting woman.

“There’s no question that Donald Trump’s comments about women are unacceptable and unfortunate," Otter said in a statement. "But I accept his apology and his contrition at face value."

MORE: Crapo pulls endorsement of Trump

The governor, who serves as an honorary co-chair on Trump's Idaho campaign, declined KTVB's request for an interview.

"My continuing support for Mr. Trump’s candidacy is solely focused on ensuring that the best candidate is elected president of the United States,” his statement continued.

Idaho Republican Party Chairman Steve Yates said the organization also remained behind Trump, despite calling his comments "appalling."

"Women should never be talked about in such terms. Ever," the statement reads. "No one has condoned or defended the comments, nor has he asked anyone to. Not his family, not the campaign, not the Idaho Republican Party."

Still, Yates noted in the statement, Trump had apologized for his mistakes, unlike his competitor Hillary Clinton.

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"The Idaho Republican Party remains steadfast in its support for all of our nominees, selected by the people, from the top of the ticket to the bottom," the statement reads. "As is our duty and privilege in the party, we will remain focused on electing Republicans in Idaho."

Idaho Republican Party Executive Director David Johnston agrees that since Trump has apologized, it's time to move on.

"In Idaho there is a lot of popularity and a lot of support for our top of the ticket and for Trump so I imagine that support will continue to come... Most Idahoans that we have heard from are responding that you know what this election is too important to get hung up on gossip and things from years past, and things that have been apologized for," said Johnston.

Not all Republicans are on board.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, pulled his endorsement of Trump Saturday after the video surfaced and urged the candidate to step down from the race, calling his comments toward women "disrespectful, profane and demeaning."

Rep. Mike Simpson, also a Republican, said in a statement he had never endorsed Trump, and would not support him.

Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, has not responded to requests for comments. His staffers said Tuesday he was out of the country on business.

Rep. Raul Labrador also released a statement Tuesday afternoon after days of silence, saying he still believed Trump was the best choice.

Read his entire statement below:

“Despite his many flaws, Donald Trump represents the best chance to change the way Washington works. This campaign has never been about Donald Trump; it has been about the millions of people hungering and thirsting for new leadership. During his campaign, Trump has given a voice to countless Americans who believe that neither party represents them in Washington, D.C., people who feel that the government of these United States works only for the politically connected.

“As a father of a daughter who I adore and four sons who I have raised to be men of honor, a husband who has treated my wife with dignity and respect for 25 years and the son of a wonderful mother who endured sexual harassment in the workplace, I find Donald Trump’s statements about women indefensible. No man should speak that way about any woman, and no woman should be subjected to such lewd attention. Similarly no woman should ever be abused, tarnished and discredited, as Bill and Hillary Clinton did to so many during the past four decades.

“Right now Hillary Clinton is a greater threat to our national well-being than Donald Trump. Throughout her time in politics, she has shown terrible judgment and little regard for the truth. Recently, she has exhibited zero respect for classified documents. Clinton will pick Supreme Court justices who will take this country further away from our founding principles. She will also continue Obama's foreign policy mistakes that have made us weaker and the economic policies that have led to the slowest recovery since the 1940s. In this race, Donald Trump is a better choice for America than Hillary Clinton.”

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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