UPDATED Leading Republican politicians in North Carolina have joined the condemnation of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s crude sexist remarks that surfaced in an 11-year-old recording Friday night.
They did not go so far as to call on him to end his candidacy, however, as some GOP lawmakers have done in other states.
N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, who appeared at a rally for Trump in Winston-Salem this summer, issued a statement late Friday:
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the comments made by Donald Trump regarding women,” McCrory said. “I find them disgusting.”
Never miss a local story.
Another Trump supporter, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, denounced the remarks, according to a Politico reporter who quoted him on Twitter: “The comments are inappropriate and completely unacceptable.”
McCrory and Burr are in close re-election campaigns. The Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century issued a statement criticizing Burr for not going far enough.
“The fact that Richard Burr still supports Donald Trump after knowing that he crudely talks about women in language that is the definition of rape culture is disqualifying,” said American Bridge President Jessica Mackler. “Burr is just like every other politician: He’s not voting his conscience, he’s simply doing what he believes is best politically.”
Mid-afternoon on Saturday, a New York Times reporter tweeted this statement attributed to Burr: “I am going to watch his level of contrition over the next few days to determine my level of support.”
Burr was widely criticized for that remark. The liberal group MoveOn.org quickly pulled together a 30-second social media video ad that it said would be aimed at conservative Christian women who are likely to vote in North Carolina.
Planned Parenthood Action PAC also released a statement Saturday blaming McCrory for backing Trump.
State House Speaker Tim Moore tweeted: “I strongly condemn Donald Trump’s comments. This is completely unacceptable.”
U.S. Rep. Mark Walker said he was “deeply troubled” by Trump’s “vile comments.”
“Mr. Trump’s attempt to dismiss his past behavior as ‘locker room banter’ or comparisons to Bill Clinton’s indiscretions is no excuse for such language,” Walker said in a tweet. Walker was a pastor for nearly 20 years.
There was pushback from the North Carolina Republican Party, however. Vice Chairwoman Michele Nix took to Twitter to say:
“HypocrisyAlert #Libs want men, women, & girls to share LOCKER ROOMS & showers, but now need a ‘Safe Space’ to hear lockerroom talk?!”
Trump was recorded on tape bragging about kissing and groping women and trying to have sex with them, despite being married. The Washington Post and NBC News obtained copies of the tape.