GOP Exit Trump Train

Back on the Train? High-Profile Republicans Walk Back Trump Criticism

By Emily Zanotti | 1:17 pm, October 12, 2016

Presidential nominee Donald Trump may be at war with some of the GOP’s biggest names, but at least a few Republicans who publicly denounced Trump following an Access Hollywood tape that revealed Trump making lewd comments, are back on the Trump Train.

Sen. John Thune, Sen. Deb Fischer, Rep. Scott Garrett, and Rep. Bradley Byrne have all re-joined the Trump coalition despite declaring last weekend that they’d had enough of Trump’s behavior.

Sen. Thune, who is the number three Republican in Congress, closely followed Rep. Paul Ryan in declaring that Trump’s words on the tape were unacceptable, and called on Trump to withdraw from the race and allow Mike Pence to take his place at the top of the ticket.

But late Tuesday afternoon, Thune told reporters gathered for an appearance in his home state of South Dakota that, despite his disappointment, he intends to vote for Donald Trump for President.

Sen. Deb Fischer also said that she would not vote for Trump in the wake of Trump’s decade-old sexually charged comments, calling them “totally unacceptable under any circumstances.” Wednesday morning, she told local radio in Nebraska that she was going to vote for Trump November 8th.

She went on to say that, despite her claims that Trump’s behavior made him unfit to run for public office, since he won’t step aside, she may as well vote for him.

An aide to Rep. Bradley Byrne told reporters that, while his boss had said that he’d prefer Mike Pence to Donald Trump, he vowed to support the Republican ticket, and if Donald Trump is at the top of that ticket, so be it. “He will support the Republican ticket on Election Day, as he has pledged to do all along.”

Rep. Scott Garrett made the same claim: that despite his “unease” over Trump’s words, he’ll willingly and happily support his party’s nominee.

Although he’s not a current office holder, Darryl Glenn, who is running against Sen. Michael Bennett in Colorado, also walked back his stinging critique of Trump. After noting to media that Trump had no path to victory over the weekend, Glenn told Fox News‘s Neil Cavuto Tuesday that Trump had fully “reset his campaign.”

Some polls now show that GOP voters who ditched the Trump Train over the weekend have also reboarded.

Around 50 Republicans either called on Donald Trump to apologize, revoked their support, or asked Trump to step aside for Mike Pence over the weekend, as public opinion cratered around their nominee.

Trump is still far down in the polls, and it does not look likely that Trump will pull out a win over Hillary Clinton. But even so, it seems, some Republicans just don’t want to bear that fallout from GOP leadership and, given his recent social media attacks on Rep. Paul Ryan, from Trump himself.