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McCain: 'I will not vote for Donald Trump'; McSally mum on endorsement

Kirkpatrick: 'Nothing more than a political calculation'

U.S. Sen. John McCain joined the wave of Republicans withdrawing their support for Donald Trump in the wake of the release of taped comments in which the GOP nominee joked about sexual assault. Rep. Martha McSally said she as "appalled," but did not indicate her stance on voting for Trump.

"Trump's behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy," McCain said.

"Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president," said McCain, who is seeking yet another term but being challenged by centrist Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick.

The CD1 congresswoman, who gave up her seat to take on the longtime GOP senator, said McCain's statement Saturday was "too late" and a "desperate attempt to distance himself" from Trump.

"His decision is nothing more than a political calculation. It's been more than 24 hours since Trump's comments were released. If it takes a full day for McCain to decide something is inappropriate, then he clearly doesn't have the leadership Arizonans need," Kirkpatrick said. "For more than a year, McCain stood by Donald Trump, pledging his support more than 60 times."

McCain joined a growing parade of Republicans seeking to distance themselves from Trump, with some condemning his remarks and others outright withdrawing their backing. Arizona's other GOP senator, Jeff Flake, has been on record opposing Trump's run for the White House.

"America deserves far better" than Trump, Flake tweeted Friday.

Southern Arizona's Republican congresswoman Martha McSally has tried to walk a tightrope regarding Trump, saying earlier that she would neither endorse nor oppose him.

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Friday night, she tweeted that "Trump's comments are disgusting. Joking about sexual assault is unacceptable. I'm appalled." She did not issue further comment regarding her opinion of his candidacy.

McSally's opponent, Dr. Matt Heinz, has frequently sought to tie her re-election bid to Trump's campaign. Saturday morning, he put out a fundraising letter, saying "it's long past time for Martha McSally to let her constituents know where she stands."

McCain had blasted Trump for the comments — which included his account of attempting to seduce a married woman and remarks that he could "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

First reported by the Washington Post, the 2005 tape shows Trump bragging that ""Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."

McCain said, ""As I said yesterday, there are no excuses for Donald Trump's offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences."

McCain's full statement

In addition to my well known differences with Donald Trump on public policy issues, I have raised questions about his character after his comments on Prisoners of War, the Khan Gold Star family, Judge Curiel and earlier inappropriate comments about women. Just this week, he made outrageous statements about the innocent men in the Central Park Five case.

As I said yesterday, there are no excuses for Donald Trump's offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.

I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated. He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. I thought I owed his supporters that deference.

But Donald Trump's behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy. Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me in this.

Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President.

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3 comments on this story

3
2 comments
Oct 10, 2016, 3:09 pm
-4 +0

Despicable is not Trump talking a little manly. Despicable is a Congress that votes to allow Men to marry Men and have sex or Women to marry Women to have sex. Or voting to okay a bathroom trans bill. Now that is despicable. Obama and the present Congress invented the word Despicable and not Trump.

2
24 comments
Oct 10, 2016, 1:20 pm
-1 +3

Is it that McSally has not yet been told how to deal with the Donald or that the hero-in-the-air is a coward on the ground and afraid anything she says will cost her votes?  And is there any other female Republican ‘feminist’ still not able to bring herself to denounce the despicable Trump?  Perhaps she is still giving him a chance to win and hoping to become his Secretary of Defense or Secretary of The Fence aka Homeland Security.

1
2 comments
Oct 8, 2016, 5:23 pm
-3 +1

McCain is so clean and white he sq-weeks. He never wanted to be be-hide Trump in the beginning. He should be retired and not in office. No one has ask Hillary to stop running for President. Why is that? Because most of the politicians in office or corrupt. They all stick together right McCain? So McCain is more worried about a man talking a little manly, and could care less what is good for this country. What a shame we have Republicans like McCain in office. Lilly white and sin-less right Mr. McCain?

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

McCain in 2014.