A sitting member of Congress declined on Tuesday to say whether he’d withdraw his endorsement of Donald Trump if a recording of Trump surfaced saying he liked to rape women.
Think about that for a second.
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) was appearing on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” to discuss a recording published Friday in which Trump, in 2005, spoke of women in lewd terms and said he grabbed them “by the pussy.”
Farenthold is a Trump supporter ― and stands by the nominee despite the controversy. As he tried to explain away Trump’s comments ― with the now-common refrain that it was “locker room talk” from more than a decade ago ― Hayes presented him a hypothetical.
“If a tape came out with Donald Trump saying that, saying, ‘I really like to rape women,’ you would continue to endorse him?”
“Again,” Farenthold replied, “that would be bad. And I would have to, I would consider it.”
In normal elections, one could consider Hayes’ question an absurd hypothetical, possibly unworthy of a response from a congressman. After the segment ended, Farenthold did take to Twitter to try and clarify his position.
But in this election, the Republican nominee is on tape talking about sexually assaulting women. And it seems perfectly acceptable to ask a question like Hayes did.
That Farenthold didn’t just say, “Of course I would take back my endorsement. I’m insulted you would even ask me that !” shows that he either had a brain fart (as he now claims) or that Trump has scared Republicans to the point that they simply won’t defy him. Maybe both.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.