(NEW YORK) — Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, said the Republican Party is stuck with Donald Trump as their presidential nominee because dropping him at this late date would be “political suicide.”
Many top Republican officeholders have condemned Trump for lewd comments he made in 2005 on a video released Friday, with some calling on the GOP nominee to withdraw from the race to allow vice presidential candidate Mike Pence to ascend to the top of the ticket.
But Brazile suggested that is not a realistic scenario as early voting has already started and ballots in states across the country have been finalized with Trump listed as the Republican presidential nominee.
“It would be political suicide for Donald Trump to step down right now,” she said.
“Absentee ballots are being mailed out,” Brazile said. “Mike Pence can step in all he wants, but the problem is how do you — how do you start to tell voters in 30 days that they can’t vote for the person whose name might appear on the ballot but they have to vote for someone? … It would be very confusing.”
The Democratic Party chair said the lewd comments Trump made about women in a 2005 video released Friday should not have surprised Republican leaders as they are similar to remarks the GOP nominee has made about women and minorities throughout the campaign.
“This is who Donald Trump truly is,” she said. “This is not a changed man” since 2005 when the comments were recorded.
Brazile said there are early indications Trump will be aggressive during tonight’s second presidential debate.
When asked whether she thought Trump will bring up former President Clinton’s affairs, Brazile said she is “not surprised that Donald Trump is going to try to change the subject” and pivot to a period of time when President Clinton was impeached over allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice.
“Look, at the time, as you well know, George, Secretary Clinton suffered. Chelsea Clinton suffered. And President Clinton was impeached. He was held accountable,” she said.
Brazile said this is a different set of circumstances and “there is no accountability for Donald Trump in the ridiculous and sexist things that he has said and racist things that he has said over the past few years.”
Some Republicans have said publicly Trump should avoid focusing on Bill Clinton’s past sex scandals. GOP congressional leaders are urging him to use the event to apologize further for his own remarks, but Trump appears to be in no mood to appease their concerns.
So many self-righteous hypocrites. Watch their poll numbers – and elections – go down!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2016
Separately, Brazile said she believes Democrats have a chance of winning control of both houses of Congress in November.
And, she sought to deflect questions about the leak of apparent excerpts of private speeches that Clinton gave to Wall Street banks in recent years. Brazile said she hasn’t read the excerpts because, she argued, the texts may have been gotten through Russian hacking.
“I don’t know if it’s true or not true,” she said of whether the speech excerpts, released Friday by WikiLeaks, are authentic. “I refuse to open them.”
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