Christie: Trump comments ‘unacceptable’ and ‘indefensible,’ but I support him
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie says Donald Trump's vulgar comments caught on video in 2005 are "unacceptable" and "indefensible," but he still supports the GOP nominee and remains a part of his campaign as other New Jersey Republicans denounce Trump.
Appearing on a New York radio station on Tuesday morning, Christie said he was with Trump when he first found out about the release of the comments made off-air to Billy Bush during the taping of a segment of Access Hollywood. In the recording, Trump can be heard saying he can get away with kissing women and groping their genitals because he's famous, and describes a failed a attempt to have sex with a married woman.
The governor said Trump was "embarrassed" by the comments. Christie said he would have been more "contrite" than Trump and would have offered up a simple "I'm sorry," rather than mention Bill Clinton's own history with women — an issue Trump pointed to both in a recorded apology and during his appearance at Sunday night's debate.
Christie, named to head up Trump's transition team, admitted that the comments made him think about his support for Trump, but said he concluded the election is about bigger issues and there are other ways to judge Trump. Christie said he was not at Sunday's debate in St. Louis because of matters that needed his attention in New Jersey, and didn't know if he would attend the last debate in Las Vegas because his main role is in debate preparation.
Christie said he believes that "rank and file" Republicans still support Trump and that he should not step down as a candidate. Christie said he would not consider replacing Trump at the top of the ticket, and has not been approached. He said he does not believe that a replacement candidate can win with less than a month to go until Election Day.
Trump's support continues to dwindle in New Jersey. The Asbury Park Press called for Trump to drop out in an editorial on Tuesday. The newspaper's editorial board said it had already planned to endorse Hillary Clinton next week, and called Trump a "disgrace to the nation." The editorial urged other Republicans to also call for Trump to get quit.
The Record, recently purchased by the same company that owns the Press, in an editorial endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
"She is qualified, prepared and capable," the editorial read. "The president cannot go on a 3 a.m. Twitter tirade against someone who offended him. The president cannot mock Americans or diminish their worth. The president cannot state that years of negotiated treaties with U.S. allies will be thrown out on a whim. The president cannot think sexual assault is a joke."
New Jersey congressman Republican Scott Garrett on Monday joined fellow Republican Frank LoBiondo in withdrawing support for Trump.
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