Are local Republican leaders still backing Donald Trump after leaked video?

Are local GOP leaders dumping Trump?
Posted at 3:01 PM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 10:26:07-04

After a lewd 2005 video of Donald Trump talking about grouping women and kissing them without their permission leaked Friday night, a handful of Republicans nationwide withdrew their support of the GOP nominee. 

But many southwest Ohio leaders, while quick to condemn Trump's comments, have not publicly pulled back on their support of Trump.

We reached out to the Republican Party's elected state and congressional officials in the Cincinnati area to get their take on the Trump tape. Some ignored our inquiries, but here's what those who did respond or had already released statements said:   

Ohio Gov. John Kasich


Who didn't see this one coming? Kasich, a vocal critic of Trump, confirmed Saturday he wouldn't vote for the GOP nominee. 

"Nothing that has happened in the last 48 hours is surprising to me or many others," Kasich said in a statement. "I will not vote for a nominee who has behaved in a manner that reflects so poorly on our country. Our country deserves better." 

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman

Portman, who is up for re-election this November, announced in a statement Saturday night that he would no longer support the nominee because of the "offensive comments" and, instead, would be voting for Trump's running mate, Mike Pence. 

"I had hoped to support the candidate my party nominated in the primary process," Portman wrote in the statement. "I thought it was appropriate to respect the millions of voters across the country who chose Donald Trump as the Republican Party nominee. While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him."

Hamilton County Commission candidate Andrew Pappas

Pappas, who is running against longtime commissioner Todd Portune, a Democrat, this fall still plans to support the nominee.

“You can’t defend the indefensible," he said. "The comments are disgusting. I will say at the end of the day, everything being equal, I am confident that Donald Trump’s positions on the economy, on the Supreme Court and on economic issues are far superior to Hillary Clinton’s … I’m not electing someone to date my daughter, (which I don’t have). I’m voting with my pocketbook.”

U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Cincinnati) 

Wenstrup condemned Trump's comment in an emailed statement Saturday. 

"I find his comments to be disgusting and revolting," he said. "I'm raising my 2-year-old son to be a gentleman who respects women. This is a horrible example."

Wenstrup released additional comments via email Monday afternoon, clarifying that he intended to stand by the GOP nominee. 

"Jesus spoke to those who were ready to “cast the first stone”. What if Jesus got down in the sand and began writing before each of these two presidential candidates?" Wenstrup said in additional comments released Monday. "I’ve been asked by some in the media if I will withdraw my support for the Republican nominee, yet no one in the media asked my Democratic colleagues if they would withdraw their support for the candidate who defended the degrading actions of her husband, destroyed evidence after being subpoenaed, lied about destruction of official e-mails, lied about - and is unable to recognize - classified or top secret material, called fellow Americans "deplorable" and “irredeemable,” and lied about the events in Benghazi - even to the mother of one of the slain American heroes." 

Ohio Rep. Louis Terhar (R-Cincinnati) 

Terhar, who is facing re-election this fall, will vote for Trump. 

"I will vote the Republican ticket in November to ensure that the Supreme Court remains a co-equal and unbiased branch of government," Terhar said in an email statement to WCPO. 

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) 

Chabot said in a statement Saturday that Trump needed to turn his campaign around -- quickly -- but didn't indicate he was pulling back on his support. 

"The disturbing comments made in the 2005 tape are never acceptable, no matter the circumstance. Donald Trump said this morning that those words are not reflective of who he is, and his immediate task is convincing the American people, and women in particular, that is the truth."

Ohio State Rep. Tom Brinkman

Brinkman, who is running for keep his seat representing District 27, issued a short statement affirming his support for Trump:

"He is the Republican nominee. He is much better than his opponent Hillary Clinton."

U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Indiana)  


Rep. Luke Messer hasn't pulled his endorsement of Trump, but didn't miss a chance this weekend to take a shot at the GOP nominee. 


Ohio State Rep. Louis Blessing III, Hamilton County Commissioner Dennis Deters, Ohio State Rep. Jonathan Dever and Ohio State Sen. Bill Seitz could not be reached for comment.