Politics

Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she’ll write-in Mike Pence for president amid GOP blacklash against Donald Trump

"I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women."

Many prominent Republicans are calling for Donald Trump to step down and let his running mate Mike Pence become the nominee. The Associated Press

One day prior to the second presidential debate and exactly one month before Election Day, prominent Republicans — including local leaders — are pulling their support for nominee Donald Trump and advocating for his running mate Mike Pence to take the top of the GOP’s ticket.

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, embroiled in a tough reelection battle, had a simple message Saturday afternoon — “I will not vote for Donald  Trump” — and threw her support behind Pence, the current governor of Indiana.

“I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women,” Ayotte said.

Senate GOP chairman John Thune wrote in a tweet that “Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately.”

Republican representatives from Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, Utah, and Alabama (Joe Heck, Mike Coffman, Barbara Comstock, Jason Chaffetz, and Martha Roby) also pulled their support from Trump since audio and video was released of Trump making lewd comments about women in 2005.

Advertisement:

Pence released a statement Saturday afternoon denouncing Trump’s comments. He continued to support Trump, however.

“As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven-year-old video released yesterday,” Pence said. “I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them.”

Pence said he will “pray for his family” and looks forward to Sunday night’s debate.

Trump, however, told The Wall Street Journal there was “zero chance” he would drop out of the race.

“I never, ever give up,” he said.

He corroborated that in a tweet Saturday afternoon.

“I will never drop out of the race, will never let my supporters down,” he wrote.

For Pence to officially become the Republican nominee, the 168 Republican National Committee members would have to officially vote him in, according to Rule 9 adopted at the RNC convention in July. Each state would cast the same number of votes they got during the convention, and the replacement would need a majority to go on the ticket.

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com