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House Speaker Paul Ryan is joining a chorus of Republicans distancing themselves from Donald Trump after an audio recording of the Republican presidential nominee making inappropriate comments about women surfaced Friday.
Following the video in which Trump can be heard boasting about groping women and making sexual advances to a married woman, Ryan said he was “sickened” by Trump’s comments and disinvited Trump from an event scheduled for Saturday in Wisconsin.
“I am sickened by what I heard today,” Ryan said in a statement. “Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests. In the meantime, he is no longer attending tomorrow’s event in Wisconsin.”
The Trump campaign released a statement Friday night saying Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, would attend the event in Trump’s place while the Manhattan billionaire focused on preparing for Sunday night’s debate against his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“Governor Mike Pence will be representing me tomorrow in Wisconsin. I will be spending the day in New York in debate prep with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Jeff Sessions, and then flying to St. Louis on Sunday for the 2nd Presidential Debate,” the campaign’s statement said.
With 30 days left before the Nov. 8 election, the Saturday event would have been the first time Ryan campaigned with Trump.
Other Republican officials who have denounced Trump’s lewd comments include 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa AJ Spiker and Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus.