Catholic Republicans have mixed reactions to Trump’s crude talk

As Donald Trump faces continued fallout from a video released on Oct. 7 that shows him bragging about groping women and kissing them against their will, members of his Catholic advisory committee say they will stick by the candidate because he offers the best chance of appointing pro-life judges.

“The past words and actions that have come to light from the video tape and radio interviews released are repulsive and undignified and cannot be condoned or defended,” Joseph Cella, the liaison between the Trump campaign and its Catholic advisory group, said in a statement.

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But that does not mean he is abandoning Mr. Trump.

“Donald Trump and Mike Pence remain the only candidates in this election who will bring jobs back home where they belong, keep our families and communities safe, defend the right to life, the right to fully and freely exercise our religious freedom, and other issues of great importance to Catholics—and most importantly, they will appoint Supreme Court Justices who will do the same for future generations,” he continued.

Another member of the advisory council, pro-life activist Father Frank Pavone, told America on Friday evening that while he had not watched the tapes, he was also sticking with Mr. Trump.

“I will continue serving on the advisory committee because the role is to advise,” he said in an email. He said he has pointed out repeatedly to critics that he’s working with the Trump campaign not because of the candidate’s “virtue in speech” but because “we are electing someone to do a specific job, namely, to appoint the right kinds of judges and to sign the right kinds of legislation.”

“In order to do that, one must be president,” he continued.

RELATED: Trump’s Catholic Advisory Group says It’s All About the Judges

Not all Catholics who once signaled an openness to Mr. Trump are taking the tape’s revelations so easily.

The lay-run group CatholicVote released a statement over the weekend calling on the G.O.P. candidate to drop out of the race.

“In our opinion, the viability of Donald Trump’s candidacy is now in question,” the group said in a statement. “Furthermore, the good many hoped to achieve, in spite of Trump’s many well-known flaws, is also now in doubt. If Donald Trump is unwilling to step aside, the Republican National Committee must act soon out of basic decency and self-preservation.”

Back in January, the organization said Mr. Trump was not a worthy choice for Catholics voting in the G.O.P. primaries. It amended that position in September, saying that in the contest between Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton, he was the better choice for Catholic voters. It defended that decision in Saturday’s statement while not holding back on criticism for Mr. Trump.

“Our goal has been simple: secure as much good as possible from a terribly difficult presidential contest among two extraordinarily flawed candidates,” the group said.

The video gave further ammunition to Mr. Trump’s Catholic critics from earlier in the campaign, who vowed not to support the real estate developer and reality TV star even if he were nominated.

RELATED: With G.O.P. Ticket Set, Catholic 'Never-Trump' Camp Remains Defiant

Princeton University professor Robert P. George, one of the creators of the Catholic “Never Trump” effort, Tweeted on Friday, “Time & again I said: Trump will shame those who link themselves to him, tainting worthy organizations they lead and noble causes they serve.”

He also called on Mr. Trump to drop out of the race and suggested that vice presidential hopeful Gov. Mike Pence run for the White House instead, an unlikely scenario given the election is less than a month away.

“A Trump apology is useless. The man is what he is. No one will believe he has changed. He now has no chance. We need a Pence candidacy,” Prof. George Tweeted.

Earlier this month, the Trump campaign reached out to Catholic groups, writing letters in which he promised that in addition to picking pro-life judges, he would support conscience protections for health care workers opposed to abortion and the rights of small businesses to deny services to same-sex couples based on religious objections.

Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton face off in the second of three presidential debates on Sunday night.

Michael O’Loughlin is the national correspondent for America and author of “The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters.” Follow him on Twitter at @mikeoloughlin.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Catherine Green
1 year 2 months ago
Very good article giving a good roundup of reactions. However - why does the headline say Trump's "crude talk" has caused mixed reactions? Trump has bragged he groped women against their will. "Groping is considered illegal when there is no consent. The legal charge can vary from state to state but generally is considered to be sexual battery, sexual groping, or "unlawful touching". I realize, many of the Republican politicians who have commented have only mentioned Trump's locker room language or that's no way to speak of women - but they are prevaricating - this is about an offensive act, not just words.
Anne Murphy
1 year 2 months ago
I second Ms. Green's observation. The lede obscures the fact that what we were subjected to in that video were confessions of sexual assault and attempts at adultery, not merely "locker room" talk, as the Trump campaign has been trying to sell since Sunday. Please show a little more courage and editorial judgment.
Tom Wahl
1 year 2 months ago
The problem goes beyond Trump to a broader cultural decline in the US that looks upon comments like these as hip and being cool. Look at the show he made his statement on: Stern's. This guy is hugely popular because he made statements like these, got his guests to do the same, and did things like talk his female radio guests to show their breasts (all while a female sidekick happily approved). Or, take a look at a lot of rap lyrics that endorse sexual assault (eminem for example or Google the lyrics). Or the football players who get off for sexual assault because they are stars. Journalists should look at the broader problem across culture as well as Trump's symptomatic comments.
Crystal Watson
1 year 2 months ago
A group of conservative pro-life Catholics support a candidate who's consistently hostile to women ... wow, who could have seen that coming?
Carlos Orozco
1 year 2 months ago
Is HRC "woman-friendly" by being a RAPE ENABLER, war criminal, perjurer, crook and hardcore abortion supporter?
Crystal Watson
1 year 2 months ago
I don't think she is a rape enabler. Here's a more balanced story about that at NPR ... http://www.npr.org/2016/10/09/497291071/a-brief-history-of-juanita-broaddrick-the-woman-accusing-bill-clinton-of-rape
Carlos Orozco
1 year 2 months ago
I'll take Broaddrick's word over that of the Billary crime duo, any day. Strange, is it not, how Hillary DID NOT DEFEND her husband from the charges yesterday? The father of her only child, both seated on the front line of the debate hall. That tells a lot. Then she pushed her luck too far, using the word "rape" when referring to Trump's vulgar language... BIG MISTAKE. A nervous Trump got enraged, got his act together, was able to focus, and gave her the political beating of her life. The biased debate "moderators" had to come to her rescue, making her debacle even more evident. Epic, and I am no Trump fan.
Carlos Orozco
1 year 2 months ago
"Hillary’s actions speak louder than Trump’s words." - Rape survivor Juanita Broaddrick http://www.theamericanmirror.com/broaddrick-hillarys-actions-speak-louder-trumps-words/
Lisa Weber
1 year 2 months ago
Trusting someone who admits to sexual assault is ridiculous. Calling someone who admits to committing sexual assault "pro-life" is also ridiculous. For someone to consider him or herself a religious leader and endorse someone who admits to committing sexual assault defies imagination. Trump should be in jail for that kind of behavior.
J Cosgrove
1 year 2 months ago
Which Predator do you want? Take your choice http://bit.ly/2dYoxll My wife keeps on insisting that Trump was a plant by the Clintons from the beginning as this photo suggests. Especially with the emails released showing that the Clinton campaign desperately wanted Trump to win the Republican nomination. So the Republicans elected a liberal Democrat for their nominee. http://bit.ly/2d9DQ96 http://bit.ly/2dN8Yi1 As one commentator said, Trump made that tape when he was a liberal Democrat but was covertly supported by the Clinton campaign. Maybe I should pay more attention to my wife. Who cares about Immigration, Economic inequality, ISIS, Syria, Libya, Russia, refugees, Black Lives Matter, poverty, guns, Supreme Court picks, climate change, School choice etc when we got sex. If anyone wants to know why the United States is in downward spiral, this is the reason. We care more about reality shows and soap operas then the fabric of our society. In case you missed the debate the other night, this was the highlight http://bit.ly/2eojrlW
Tim O'Leary
1 year 2 months ago
This is a history lesson for us all. I was shocked when the feminists stayed with Bill Clinton when it became obvious he was a serial predator (like Bill Cosby) and threw out all their principles for political victory. Now, I am shocked that Christians have stayed with the deplorable Trump (he is his own basket case) right down to the biggest political loss in a generation. Trump has destroyed the party of Lincoln. I don't know if it can recover. Of course, Hillary is a crooked vainglorious person as well, and I am a nevertrump, neverhillary voter, so I watch as Rome burns. This didn't have to happen. There will need to be deep soul-searching among Christian voters after this is over. We are heading into a period of great intolerance of religious practice, aided and abetted by well-meaning but not clear-thinking Christians. We need a new awakening.
J Cosgrove
1 year 1 month ago
Tim,
watch as Rome burns
The sad thing is that the authors and editors here are fiddling away while an incredibly negative change is taking place in our society. We argue over sex and dirty words or whether men can pee in the ladies room while the fabric of our society disintegrates before our eyes. Most are starting to realize that the United States as we knew it is over. The question is what is the end game. It is not economic deterioration though that could come but a deterioration of the soul. Do the liberals really believe that the 120-150 million who strongly oppose them will acquiesce to the liberal dream which in reality is a nightmare. There is no precedent so the future is unknown. The winners are the cultural Marxists who want the destruction of religion and capitalism but even they do not know what kind of dark age their victory will bring.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
I agree. The true believers use deception to ensnare those whose instincts should protect them. For example, the Podesta revelations from Wikileaks show how much the Democrat politicians are trying to manipulate Catholics and the Church. Today's revelations remove the cover from groups like "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good" and "Catholics United" who are really about weakening Church doctrine, not about helping people. They are secular first, catholic second folks. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/10/12/clinton-campaign-chief-helped-start-catholic-organisations-to-create-revolution-in-the-church/. But, here's the thing. natural law always wins out in the end - because it is a hard truth This is especially so when it comes to demography. The whole drive for sexual libertinism has an anti-natalist consequence, so it does not grow naturally. America will be different, but will never be what the revolutionaries want, because what they want is unsustainable.
Douglas Fang
1 year 1 month ago
Tim, “Trump has destroyed the party of Lincoln” – did I tell you so before a number of times? “watch Rome burns” – for me, it looks like watching a Barnburner… http://www.marketwatch.com/story/donald-trump-is-a-modern-day-barnburner-2016-10-11 “deep soul-searching among Christian voters” – the true soul-searching is to learn to detach/break free from any attachment to any political party. As long as you attach yourself to a political party, you will be associated with all kinds of bad (some time very bad) aspects of that party. You become a hypocrite to the other side, especially if you are a high ranking clergy, i.e. bishop, cardinal, etc. This is the time to learn the true meaning of “…Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's…”. (Full disclosure, I voted for Republicans, Independents, and Democratics as I saw fit since I became a citizen many moons ago) “a new awakening” – for me, a new awakening is to learn true humility. To accept that there are many things that you don’t know or don’t understand. To learn to completely put your trust in God as He will reveal the truth to everyone and everything in the fullest of time… Here is another point to ponder… This is the complete change compared to 30+ years ago when I just came to America. The Asian community was mostly Republicans, including myself… http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/asian-american-voters-are-diverse-but-unified-against-donald-trump/
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
Douglas - "did I tell you so before a number of times?" This is not news. I've been warning Republicans about this for a year on America. See just two: 11/24/2015: Trump is like a suicide bomb for the Republican party, getting just enough idiots to say yes on a poll to keep him blocking several good candidates. He is a huge gift to Hillary Clinton... http://www.americamagazine.org/issue/many-things-111 5/6/2016: I am a nevertrump, neverhillary voter, primarily for their deeply flawed characters (both are incredibly practiced and persistent liars), although I think Trump is of a different order of unacceptability. So, I am facing a Hitler-Stalin type of situation. But, I have a lot of company. As fivethirtyeight.com points out in a fascinating article, they are the two most disliked presidential candidates in history, by far. http://americamagazine.org/content/unconventional-wisdom/why-white-guys-are-wary-clinton-economic-issues
Chuck Kotlarz
1 year 1 month ago
In November, 2015, America showed a graph of the US public’s trust in government plunging to 10%. Does this correlate with the US falling to last place on the Democracy Index’s list of “full democracy” countries? For the majority of Americans who disapprove of Citizen’s United, note that big money is only a part of what Warren Buffet calls a “nuclear bomb”. “…my side (the 400 richest taxpayers) has had the nuclear bomb. We’ve got K-Street, we’ve got lobbyists, we’ve got money on our side". While many Americans rally around their candidate once every four years, over 10,000 lobbyists hammer at congress every day, year after year. Of the 100 largest lobbying groups, only three don’t have corporate ties. Has the public’s trust in 10,000 lobbyists fallen to 10%? Do 10,000 lobbyists strengthen democracy?

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