Top Texas Republicans are condemning lewd comments Donald Trump made about women — but not backing off their support for their party's presidential nominee.
“These comments are disturbing and inappropriate, there is simply no excuse for them,” tweeted U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who recently endorsed Trump after a months-long holdout. “Every wife, mother, daughter — every person — deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”
“There is absolutely no excuse to ever talk about women in such a crude and demeaning way,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Trump's Texas chairman, said in a statement Friday that was critical of the comments, but also sought to scrutinize Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
A spokesman for Patrick confirmed Saturday the lieutenant governor is still serving as the chairman of Trump's efforts in Texas. The GOP nominee is due in the state Tuesday for fundraisers in Dallas and San Antonio.
“I am disgusted by Mr Trump's words about women: our daughters, sisters and mothers,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wrote on Twitter. “And I am profoundly disappointed by the race to the bottom this presidential campaign has become.”
Trump's remarks even drew a rebuke from U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, who is fighting for re-election in the only competitive congressional race this November in Texas. Hurd, a San Antonio Republican, had previously not volunteered any comments on Trump throughout the race, other than to say from the outset he could not support the nominee.
“I find Donald Trump's comments that were released today to be utterly sickening and repulsive for all women and Americans,” Hurd said in a statement.
Former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson posted a letter on Facebook to Trump Saturday morning, calling on him to do the “honorable thing.”
“Remove yourself from the ballot,” he wrote. “If you do, two things will likely occur. Clinton will be defeated on November 8th, and the bad example you have set for young men as to how they are expected to treat women will hopefully be forgotten.”
Texas Democrats pounced on the controversy.
“Donald Trump's exploitation of women knows no bounds,” unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial nominee and former Fort Worth state Sen. Wendy Davis said in a statement to The Texas Tribune. “Just when you think he has reached the ultimate low, he finds a new basement. I wouldn't want Donald Trump in the same room with my daughters and granddaughter, much less be their President of the United States.”
Staff writer Anna M. Tinsley contributed to this report.