U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler denounced Donald Trump on Saturday after lewd comments the Republican presidential candidate made about women in 2005 became public Friday.
“For months I’ve left the door open for Donald Trump to earn my vote. That door has now slammed shut,” Herrera Beutler said in an email Saturday evening.
Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, won’t be casting her vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, either.
“I refuse to accept this is the best we can do. Both candidates have shown that they lack the character and temperament required for the highest office in the land and it is a sad state of affairs that these are our choices,” she said.
Herrera Beutler said she will write-in a vote for House Speaker Paul Ryan, a person who would “serve this nation with honor,” she said.
Ryan reportedly said he was “sickened” by Trump’s vulgar comments but did not withdraw his support. He did disinvite Trump from a scheduled rally in Wisconsin that the two were expected to appear at together.
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who endorsed Trump later in his race, said he could no longer support his candidacy.
For months, Herrera Beutler had said she hoped Trump would earn her support. Most recently, she appeared to be optimistic Trump would evolve into what she considered a viable candidate.
Last month, she wrote: “In recent weeks, I’ve been encouraged that Donald Trump has been less divisive in his rhetoric and is offering more substantive solutions to challenges working families are facing, like his proposal to provide moms with paid maternity leave without overburdening small businesses with the costs.”
But even Trump’s initial announcement that he was running for president did not sit well with the Republican from Camas.
Long before the real estate tycoon and reality TV star was believed to have a shot at being the GOP presidential pick, Trump announced he was running for president and added, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems (to) us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Herrera Beutler, whose great-grandparents on her father’s side emigrated from Mexico, said the “rapists” comment was unsettling. She also expressed concern about Trump’s previous statements about women.
But the most recent statements, caught on a private tape and aired to the public, went too far, she said. Herrera Beutler joined several of her Republican colleagues in disavowing the GOP’s nominee for president
Trump could be heard on the private tape speaking about groping, kissing and trying to have sex with women, and being able to do it because he’s famous.