More than 30 senior Republicans have withdrawn support from Donald Trump after his obscene comments about making sexual advances on women were aired across America.
But Trump remains defiant just hours before Sunday night’s second presidential debate.
Senator John McCain, who in 2008 was the Republican presidential nominee, is perhaps the most prominent defector. “There are no excuses for Donald Trump offensive behaviour, Cindy and I will not vote for him,” he tweeted.
But there’s also former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice who wrote in facebook: “Enough! Donald Trump should not be President.”
House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan was booed at a Wisconsin rally where he spoke of a “troubling situation” and of “an elephant in the room”, adding that he’s sickened by Trump’s comments.
Trump was due to attend the rally but Ryan said he was no longer welcome.
Another former Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has also defected. “I was offended and dismayed by what was said and done by Mr. Trump. I think it’s degrading to our women to our daughters our granddaughters, to future generations,” he said.
Now the question is being asked, can the Republican party somehow dump Trump?
Reports suggest party leaders discussed exactly that on Friday night. But according to the party’s national committee it is only authorized to make a change “by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate.”
And it’s that vague word “otherwise” that may now be offering a glimmer of hope to those who oppose Trump.
Trump’s lewd video has been a gift to Clinton’s campaign. Apart from damaging him, it has drowned out media coverage of leaked campaign emails that suggest Clinton says one thing to the public and another to Wall Street.
Leaked comments made by her to banks and big business appear to confirm fears by supporters of Democrat Bernie Sanders, whom she beat to the nomination, about her support for global trade and tendency to cozy up to Wall Street.
Clinton, who needs Sanders’ coalition of young and left-leaning voters to propel her to the presidency, pushes for open trade and open borders in one of the speeches, and takes a conciliatory approach to Wall Street, both positions she later backed away from in an effort to capture the popular appeal of Sanders’ attacks on trade deals and powerful banks.
The excerpts of remarks by the former secretary of state, made in 2013 and 2014 in closed-door meetings where audiences paid to attend, were published online on Friday by WikiLeaks, which sourced them to the email account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.