The man whose father’s name adorns one of Penn’s most prominent buildings is none too pleased with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s recent remarks about women.
A week after former Utah governor and 1987 College graduate Jon Huntsman, Jr. said he would vote for Trump over Hillary Clinton, Huntsman called on Friday for Trump’s current running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to take his place as the Republican candidate for president.
Trump, a 1968 Wharton graduate, is facing intense condemnation from fellow Republicans after the Washington Post of him boasting about seducing and forcefully touching married women. The leaked tape, which includes phrases like “Grab them by the p**sy” has worsened Trump’s tendency toward aggressive and lewd comments about women.
“In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom — at such a critical moment for our nation — and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket,” Huntsman told the Salt Lake Tribune on Friday.
Huntsman, who ran for president in 2012 as a Republican, originally supported Trump and said the candidate was better-positioned than Clinton to take on the economic challenges facing the country, such as simplifying the federal tax code and streamlining regulations.
He also said Trump’s promise of anti-establishment reform would bring new voters into the Republican Party from beyond the party’s traditional voting bloc and could improve the GOP’s chances of defeating Hillary Clinton’s broad support base.
“We’ve had enough intraparty fighting,” Huntsman told Politico in April. “Now’s the time to stitch together a winning coalition.”
Dozens of Republican politicians have denounced Trump’s fitness to serve as president, including several who are facing uphill reelection campaigns due to the damage Trump’s rhetoric has done to the Republican Party’s image.
The most recent national poll released by Quinnipiac University on Friday gave Clinton a five-percent lead over Trump, with 45 percent of respondents saying they would vote for the Democratic candidate compared to 40 percent for Trump.
Among women voters, Clinton outperformed Trump by 20 percent, with 53 percent of women respondents saying they would vote for Clinton compared to 33 percent for Trump, according to the poll.
Even Trump’s wife, Melania, in a rare public announcement, reprimanded her husband for his treatment of women.
“The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” she said Saturday in a statement released on the Trump campaign’s website. “This does not represent the man that I know.”
Trump himself explained the tape’s contents as “locker room banter” from “many years ago.” In a public apology on Friday posted on his campaign’s website, he tried to draw attention away from himself by comparing his words to former President Bill Clinton.
“Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended,” Trump said.
In a separate statement on Friday, Trump said he would be spending the weekend with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) preparing for the upcoming presidential debate on Sunday.
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