SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — GOP Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Monday that he wants Donald Trump to quit the presidential race, but he’d still vote for Trump over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Daugaard told The Associated Press that the recent release of a 2005 tape that captured Trump making predatory sexual comments about women was the “last straw.” On Saturday, Daugaard and third-ranking Senate Republican John Thune of South Dakota called on Trump to withdraw in favor of vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.
“The priority in my mind is to defeat Hillary Clinton,” Daugaard said. “Trump’s outrageous statements and his personal distractions make that increasingly unlikely, and I know a good Republican nominee could defeat her because she’s not a strong candidate.”
Daugaard said he was disgusted, but not surprised, by Trump’s comments. Still, the governor said he’s unwilling to vote for Clinton instead of a Republican because it wouldn’t be good for the country to have another four years under a Democratic president.
Republican U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem said Monday that she plans to vote for Trump on Election Day. Noem called Trump’s comments “horrific,” but she hasn’t joined Thune and Daugaard in urging Trump to exit the race. Trump would approve Republican policy proposals, Noem said.
“I don’t look to either candidate to be a role model. When I look for a role model, I point (my children) to my lord and savior Jesus Christ,” Noem said. “I’m looking for someone who will sign conservative legislation in the White House, because that’s what I’m going to be sending to the White House.”