Tennessee’s two Republican female members of Congress condemned Donald Trump’s recently revealed comments about women, but both still say they plan to vote for him.
Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black, both R-Tenn., have outspokenly supported the brash GOP presidential nominee for weeks. But both renounced Trump’s recent statements about women in a 2005 video first reported by the Washington Post, where Trump says several vulgar statements about women and seems to condone sexual assault.
“I would’ve yanked my son by the ear if he had talked that way when he was a teenager much less an adult. Our country’s problems are severe and I am frustrated that Donald Trump’s immaturity keeps distracting us. I condemn his attitudes toward women displayed in that tape,” Black said in a statement Monday morning.
While Blackburn called Trump’s comments “indefensible,” she said she still supports his policy positions.
“While I do not agree with everything that he says, I share the same concerns on major issues facing our nation. The issues of national security, economic security and religious liberty deserve our attention and best efforts,” Blackburn said in a statement.
Black agreed, saying she couldn’t “bear the thought of Hillary Clinton controlling the Supreme Court or our foreign policy. America has too much at stake to risk her radical and dangerous policies.”
The comments come a day after Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam called on Trump to withdraw his candidacy and let vice presidential nominee Mike Pence take the top spot on the ticket. He’s among dozens of prominent national Republicans renouncing their support for Trump, but the only well-known Tennessee Republican to do so.
U.S. Reps. Chuck Fleischmann and Phil Roe issued statements condemning the remarks but said nothing about abandoning support of Trump.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and U.S. Reps. Scott DesJarlais, Jimmy Duncan and Stephen Fincher have not responded to requests for comment. David Kustoff, the GOP nominee running to replace the retiring Fincher in the West Tennessee 8th Congressional District, has also not responded to a request for comment.
In Sunday night’s presidential debate, Trump downplayed the comments as “locker room banter” while accusing Clintonof trying to cover up or victimize women accusing former President Bill Clinton of sexual wrongdoing. Hillary Clinton has denied any misconduct in the cases.
USA TODAY reported Monday morning that U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., told colleagues when it comes to supporting Trump that they should do what they need to do in order to protect their seats. None of Tennessee’s Republicans in Congress are expected to lose their elections.