“… all Republicans running for office should probably do the same.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is now celebrating his freedom from the GOP establishment, tweeting out a message on Tuesday declaring it’s “so nice” to be unchained.
Over the past few days, several Republicans have withdrawn their endorsement of the presidential nominee after a 2005 hot mic tape surfaced which showed him bragging about touching and kissing women without their consent. Trump later apologized in a video, calling it “locker room” banter.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would no longer defend Trump, which has sparked a battle the two. Trump accused the nation’s top elected Republican of being a “very weak and ineffective leader.”
Ryan has not formally rescinded his endorsement of Trump, but his recent comments indicate he believes Republican members of the House are better off going their own way as they run for re-election.
“The speaker is going to spend the next month focused entirely on protecting our congressional majorities,” Ryan’s spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said in a statement Monday.
“Paul Ryan is focusing the next month on defeating Democrats, and all Republicans running for office should probably do the same,” another Ryan spokesperson added Tuesday.
Throughout Tuesday morning, Trump continued to tweet out attacks aimed at the political establishment.
Some Republican leaders have indicated they wanted Trump to step aside so that his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, can lead the ticket. But Pence said in a CNN interview Monday that he plans on staying loyal to Trump.
“As Trump’s numbers crater, many House and Senate Republicans will find themselves on the wrong side of polling trends,” said Joshua Huder, a senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University in Washington. “They can only distance themselves so much.”
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