9 Oct 2016

Trump: 'I will never drop out of the race'

12:55 pm on 9 October 2016

US Presdiential candidate Donald Trump has vowed he will never drop out of the race after tapes of him making lewd comments emerged.

Donald Trump greets supporters outside of Trump Towers in Manhattan October 8, 2016 in New York City.

Donald Trump greets supporters in New York City after the video of him making lewd comments emerged Photo: AFP

Mr Trump has been under pressure after a tape from 2005 of him making obscene comments and bragging about groping and kissing women emerged on Saturday.

He told the Wall Street Journal there was "zero chance I'll quit" and he was getting "unbelievable" support.

Since the tape emerged, at least 10 Republican senators have either said they will not be voting for the Republican candidate in the general election in 30 days' time, or have called for him to stand aside.

The latest to join them is former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who said Mr Trump's comments "make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy".

And former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said: "Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw."

Mr Trump's election rival Hillary Clinton called the comments "horrific".

His running mate Mike Pence said he was "offended" by Mr Trump's video, but grateful he had expressed remorse and apologised to the American people.

"We pray for his family" he said in a statement.

Reports in the US media suggest that Mr Pence no longer plans to attend a campaign event in Wisconsin alongside House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Mr Ryan - the most senior elected Republican in the US - had originally invited Mr Trump to the event but rescinded his invitation, saying he was "sickened" by what he had heard.

Mr Pence was due to go in his running mate's place.

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks during the 1st Congressional District Republican Party of Wisconsin Fall Fest on October 8, 2016.

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks during the 1st Congressional District Republican Party of Wisconsin Fall Fest this weekend. Photo: AFP

Former Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also said he would not be voting for the Republican candidate.

Senators Mike Crapo of Idaho, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Mike Lee of Utah, Dan Sullivan of Alaska and John Thune of South Dakota were among the elected Republicans calling on Mr Trump to abandon his candidacy.

The second TV debate between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton will take place on Sunday evening (US time) in St Louis.

Mr Trump recently said he would not bring up stories about Bill Clinton's infidelities in the debate, after previously threatening to do so.

But in his video apology, he attacked the former president directly:

"Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked and shamed his victims.

"We'll discuss this in the coming days," he said. "See you at the debate on Sunday."


Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs