Many Republicans have called for their party to drop Donald Trump after the release of a tape on which the presidential nominee makes vulgar remarks about women, but Maine Republican leaders have not gone so far.

The day after The Washington Post released the 2005 tape, some of Maine’s political leaders condemned Trump’s remarks. Gov. Paul LePage, who endorsed Trump and whose relationship with the presidential nominee has been called a “bromance” by some national media, stayed quiet.

Sen. Susan Collins, who has said she will not vote for Trump, called his remarks inappropriate and reprehensible but did not join other Republicans calling for Trump’s removal from the ticket. Rep. Bruce Poliquin said he was dismayed by the Trump remarks but did not say whether he would vote for Trump or whether he supported Trump’s removal from the ticket.

Collins said in a prepared statement: “Donald Trump’s lewd comments are the latest in a series of remarks he has made ranging from inappropriate to reprehensible that demonstrate why he is unsuitable for the presidency. It was comments like these, including the statements he made about John McCain, a disabled reporter, the family of a fallen soldier and more, that caused me to decide this summer that I could not support his candidacy,” Collins said in an email.

Poliquin, who has repeatedly declined to comment on whether he supports Trump, initially avoided commenting after being reached on his cell phone, citing a parade appearance. Later he tweeted his dismay about the remarks but did not answer questions about whether he supports the Republican presidential nominee.

“Donald Trump’s comments were repulsive. There is no place in Maine and America to demean any person. I’m proud of the women I’ve hired in my office to work hard for our 2nd District families,” he wrote in the tweet.

Emails and phone calls to LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett and other LePage staffers were not returned Saturday.

Rick Bennett, chairman of the Maine Republican Party, called Trump’s remarks indecent but stopped short of withdrawing his endorsement. “Donald Trump’s comments are reprehensible, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms,” Bennett said.

“Our party is full of decent, hardworking people who love our country, respect their neighbors, and want the best for everyone. Sadly, we find ourselves caught in a position where the values of our party, and our people, may be misconstrued by comments made more than a decade ago by one man whose indecent words do not match our values. Hundreds of thousands of Maine Republicans deserve to be known for their own values and beliefs.”

“America is a place where redemption is possible, and over the next 30 days Mr. Trump will have to make the case to voters that he is worthy of redemption,” Bennett said.
Sen. Angus King, an independent, said Trump’s remarks gave the public an inside view of Trump’s character.

“These comments are totally indefensible but, unfortunately, are consistent with his long history of demeaning women generally. This incident gives us a startling insight into how he really thinks and talks in private – and it’s not close to the character and attitude required of someone being considered as president,” King said in a statement.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, said Trump’s description of his actions on the videotape probably amount to sexual assault.

“Donald Trump’s apology for what he said on tape just doesn’t cut it. The actions he described on that tape probably constitute sexual assault and it’s terrifying to think what someone like that would do if they held the most powerful office in the county,” Pingree said.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, who is up for re-election, has called for the party to drop Trump and was joined by Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, who are not up for re-election. Other Republicans leaders have said they would not vote for Trump.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and Rep. Paul Ryan, House speaker, have condemned Trump’s remarks but have not dropped their support for his candidacy.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.