The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board on Sunday shamed GOP leaders for their response to the graphic video of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump boasting about sexual assault, writing that not only should Trump drop out of the race, but all Republicans with “a shred of self-respect” should dump him too.
“Every Republican Party leader or elected official who has a shred of self-respect should drop him cold. We question the moral fiber of anyone who does not,” the scathing editorial reads. “There should be no more temporizing, no more denying that Trump’s election would be a shame on our country.”
It warned that the fate of the party was on the line.
“Trump is a political goner, or so we hope,” the board continued. “The stakes for our nation are so high. The only responsible course for every Republican leader and elected official now is to withdraw their support, or the GOP as a national party will be a goner, too.”
The board saved some of its strongest criticisms for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who both continue to support Trump’s candidacy, despite condemning his remarks.
Speaker Paul Ryan doesn’t get it. He said Friday he was “sickened” by Trump’s comments, but he did not withdraw his support. On the contrary, he said this might all be an unfortunate misunderstanding. Trump, he said, should “demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”
That would be impossible, and Ryan knows it. Trump does not have greater respect for women than this clip suggests.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t get it either. He called Trump’s comments “repugnant” and demanded he apologize to women. But he didn’t even hint that he might back off his endorsement.
The paper also made the unusual decision to print verbatim what Trump said in the lewd and graphic recording.
“We might normally consider the kind of crude things Trump said on a hot mic in 2005 to be unsuitable to repeat in a family publication, but it’s necessary to do so this time,” the board wrote. “There is no other way to convey the full offensiveness.”
In recent weeks, the editorial boards of many of the nation’s top newspapers have taken a stand against Trump, often breaking with tradition to do so.
For the first time in its history, USA Today weighed in on the presidential race to advise readers to vote against Trump.
“Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue,” the paper’s editorial board wrote in September. “By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.”
Several newspapers who have traditionally backed Republicans endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton this year, arguing that a Trump presidency would be too damaging to the country.
Joining them was the Columbus Dispatch, in the crucial swing state of Ohio. On Sunday, the paper broke a 100-year streak of endorsing Republican presidential nominees when it announced it was backing Clinton.
“The Dispatch traditionally has endorsed Republican presidential candidates, but Trump does not espouse or support traditional Republican values, such as fiscal prudence, limited government and free trade, not to mention civility and decency,” the board wrote. “We are disappointed that so many Republican leaders have accommodated a narcissistic, morally bankrupt candidate who is so clearly out of step with those values.”
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.