TRENTON, N.J. — Republican members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Saturday slammed comments made by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, while Gov. Chris Christie was in New York helping Trump prepare for Sunday’s second debate.
Reps. Scott Garrett and Frank LoBiondo both issued statements Saturday decrying Trump’s remarks and praising his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. LoBiondo said he would write in Pence for president because Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are “two horribly flawed choices,” while Garrett — who is involved in a tough re-election fight — said Pence would be “the best nominee for the Republican Party” but did not say if he would vote for Trump.
Trump apologized for the comments but vowed Saturday to continue his campaign, saying the “media and establishment want me out of the race so badly.”
The Washington Post and NBC News obtained and released video of Trump from 2005, who is heard describing attempts to have sex with a married woman. He also brags about women letting him kiss them and grab their genitals because he is famous.
Rep. Chris Smith said Trump’s words “11 years ago were offensive and demean women and it is important that he has recognized this and has apologized,” while Rep. Leonard Lance also issued a statement calling Trump’s words “as offensive and vulgar today as they were 11 years ago.” And in a Twitter message sent in response to a newspaper editor’s note seeking her opinion on the matter, Guadagno wrote that “No apology can excuse away Mr. Trump’s reprehensible comments degrading women. We’re raising my 3 boys to be better than that.”
As his fellow Republicans were speaking out on the issue, Christie didn’t respond to reporters as he entered Trump Tower in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon, wearing a New York Mets hoodie. Trump had issued a statement that said Christie would be helping him prepare for Sunday’s night’s presidential debate.
Christie has been a top adviser to Trump since he ended his own bid for the GOP nomination and now heads Trump’s White House transition team. He has not commented publicly on the vulgar and sexually charged comments, and the governor’s spokesman did not respond Saturday to a message seeking comment.
Representatives for the state’s two other GOP congressmen — Tom MacArthur and Rodney Frelinghuysen — did not respond to requests seeking comment Saturday.