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Portman, Yost, RNC Drop Support Of Trump; Kasich Standing Firm

Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio rescinded his endorsement of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump late Saturday night, joining a growing list of party members withdrawing support and calling for him to drop out of the race. This comes after the release of a 2005 video showing Trump making vulgar and sexually aggressive comments about women. In a statement on his campaign website, Portman, who is running for re-election against Democrat Ted Strickland, says he will be voting for Trump's running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. "I thought it was appropriate to respect the millions of voters across the country who chose Donald Trump as the Republican Party nominee," Portman said. "While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him. I continue to believe our country cannot afford a Hillary Clinton presidency." Trump said earlier Saturday he will not be dropping out. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday the Republican National Committee is halting its support of Trump. Chair Reince Priebus told party officials late Saturday to redirect resources for Trump toward down-ticket Republicans. GOP State Auditor Dave Yost, who this past summer decided to support Trump despite an earlier pledge not to do so, called Saturday on Trump to step aside in favor of Pence. "I condemn his loathsome words and despicable attitude. Much, much worse is the conduct he laughingly describes, which amounts to sexual assault," Yost said in a statement withdrawing his backing of the billionaire. Central Ohio Republican Congressman Pat Tiberi called Trump's comments and behavior in a statement "reprehensible, vulgar and extremely disrespectful." Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich says he definitely will not support Trump. Kasich, who ran unsuccessfully for his party's nomination, has long declined to endorse his former presidential primary rival. Kasich was one of the last GOP candidates to drop out of the primary after it became clear there was no viable path to stopping Trump. On Saturday, Kasich described Trump as "a man I cannot and should not support."  He said, "I will not vote for a nominee who has behaved in a manner that reflects so poorly on our country." Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges says there will be no punishment for state GOP officials who drop their support of Trump. While Clinton can win the White House without capturing the Buckeye State, Ohio is a must-win for Trump this November. National Public Radio on Saturday published the following list of Republicans calling on Trump to withdraw:

Republicans Calling For Trump To Step Aside

    Sen. John Thune (South Dakota): Third highest ranking Republican in the Senate, previously said he would support the nominee
    Sen. Mark Kirk (Illinois): Ran campaign ads distancing himself from Trump
    Sen. Ben Sasse (Nebraska): Prominent "Never Trumper"
    Sen. Deb Fischer (Nebraska): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia): Said the "appropriate next step may be for him to reexamine his candidacy;" Withdrew previous endorsement
    Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska): Tweeted that Trump has "forfeited the right to be our party's nominee," Did not endorse Trump previously
    Sen. Cory Gardner (Colorado): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona): Did not endorse Trump previously
    Rep. Martha Roby (Alabama): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Rep. Bradley Byrne (Alabama): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Sen. Mike Lee (Utah): Did not endorse Trump previously
    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Rep. Mia Love (Utah): Did not endorse Trump previously
    Rep. Chris Stewart (Utah): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Rep. Barbara Comstock (Virginia)
    Rep. Mike Coffman (Colorado)
    Rep. Charlie Dent (Pennsylvania): Previously said he is not voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the general election
    Rep. Patrick Meehan (Pennsylvania)
    Rep. Ann Wagner (Missouri): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Rep. Rodney Davis (Illinois): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Rep. Fred Upton (Michigan)
    Rep. Justin Amash (Michigan)
    Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (Nebraska)
    Rep. Frank LoBiondo (New Jersey): Said he will write in Mike Pence
    Rep Scott Garrett (New Jersey): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Gov. Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota): Withdrew previous endorsement
    Joe Heck, Senate Candidate (Nevada): Is running for Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid's seat
    Darryl Glenn, Senate Candidate (Colorado): Withdrew previous support
    Carly Fiorina, former presidential candidate
    George Pataki, former New York governor
    Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor
    Hugh Hewitt, conservative radio talk show host, previous Trump backer
    Condoleeza Rice, former secretary of state: Wrote that as a Republican, she hopes "to support someone who has the dignity and s

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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