Republican Vice Presidential contender Mike Pence won’t be making appearances on behalf of the Republican ticket and he’s so far declined to defend publicly Donald Trump’s lewd comments from a 2005 audio tape.
After canceling an event in Wisconsin this morning — a joint event with House Speaker Paul Ryan, where he was replacing a disinvited Donald — all of Pence’s scheduled appearances were scrubbed from Trump’s campaign website.
Sources told CBS News that Pence has told Trump he will not defend Trump from criticism over the leaked tape, which features a Trump making foul and lascivious comments about women.
— Major Garrett (@MajorCBS) October 8, 2016
Pence is reportedly waiting out the next 48 hours with his family, hoping that Trump will issue a more comprehensive apology than the video statement Trump released early Saturday morning.
A churchgoing family man, Pence reportedly “melted down” overnight, scandalized by Trump’s behavior. The Veep nominee released a statement this morning saying that he does not condone Trump’s remarks and “cannot defend them.”
Meanwhile, other Republicans are calling for the Republican National Committee to intervene and make a radical change to the Republican ticket, ousting Trump and leaving Pence as the GOP nominee. The RNC hasn’t commented, but pulled back on certain operations supporting Trump in key states, and has removed Trump’s name from the “get out the vote” phone bank scripts, which volunteers use to encourage potential supporters.
Sources close to the RNC tell Heat Street that a Trump-Pence ticket switch is unlikely, calling it “wishful thinking.”
But Democratic media operatives and surrogates have already begun attacking Pence, and releasing opposition research about the Indiana governor. Elizabeth Warren hit Pence on in an email Saturday, calling Pence’s policy record on women’s issues “extreme.”