The Republican sorting over Donald Trump’s billionaire-gone-wild video has begun. From the Washington Post:
House Speaker Paul Ryan will not campaign with or defend Donald Trump through the November election, according to a knowledgeable source who participated in a phone call with House GOP lawmakers on Monday morning.
But a few miles down the road, at Liberty University in Virginia, Ralph Reed and Jerry Falwell Jr. – where Falwell is president --declared themselves unshaken by the latest Trump scandal.
Opposition to abortion, the make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Iran nuclear deal are the paramount issues that require him to support Trump, said Reed, who was the main speaker at the university’s convocation:
“Those 11-year-old comments were offensive and inappropriate. And as the fathers of two daughters, including one who is with me today….I did not appreciate them. And I’m glad that Donald Trump apologized for them….”
Reed spent more time explaining his opposition to Hillary Clinton, citing the former secretary of state’s decision to set up a private email server:
“I also believe in the biblical principle that someone who is faithful in small things will be faithful in larger things. And if someone is unfaithful in a small thing, they will also be unfaithful in a larger task.
“I believe that if someone violates the public trust as a member of the Cabinet in a subordinate position, there is no reason to believe that they’ll be more faithful in the execution of the larger or the solemn or the higher duties of the presidency."
In a Q&A session with Reed afterwards, Falwell said:
“Five years from now, when we’re sitting here and we see the Constitution being ripped apart by justices, nobody’s going to remember what horrible things Donald Trump said over a decade ago. We’re never going to have a perfect candidate until Jesus Christ reigns forever on the throne.”
Falwell asked Reed for his assessment of last night’s presidential debate. Said Reed:
“I thought it was the biggest night of Donald Trump’s career, political or otherwise. He had a pretty rough weekend. I did not defend those remarks. I’m glad to know that he didn’t….
“With so many critical issues on the line…I think he won the debate. I think he apologized, he said he was embarrassed by those remarks, and then he moved on, and then he talked about the issues.
“And I for one, think it’s about time that we elevated the tone and tenor of this election…..”