Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Monday morning that reports that he considered dropping off the GOP presidential ticket over the weekend were “absolutely false.”
The Republican vice presidential nominee and devout evangelical Christian was rumored to be considering a departure from the campaign after The Washington Post published clips on Friday from 2005 in which Donald Trump can be heard making remarkably vulgar comments about women. In the clip, Trump brags that his celebrity status allowed him to sexually assault women without consequence.
In a statement released after the Post published Trump’s bombshell statements, Pence said he was “offended” by the remarks and added that "I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them.” He also pulled out of an appearance on Saturday with House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin, where he was due to stand in for Trump.
But Monday morning, Pence said his loyalty to his running mate never wavered in spite of the lewd comments.
“You know, these rumors just furl around presidential campaigns. This is the first time I've ever been at this level but it really is remarkable,” Pence told Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.” “The real story this morning is Donald Trump stepped up and won the debate last night that seemed to be against all odds. He stepped up. He showed humility, he showed strength, he expressed genuine contrition for the words that he had used on the video that became public and then he moved directly into the choice of the American people are facing.”
“I encouraged him to express what I believe is his sincere personal remorse and he did that Friday night, but I wanted to give him time to show his heart on Sunday night, and I thought he did that, expressing the fact that he was embarrassed, not proud of it. You know, that kind of vulnerability, and transparency, I think is very moving to millions of Americans,” Pence added. “I know for a fact that Donald Trump, you know, is, you know, deeply sorry. He's expressed his apology, but what I think people saw last night was someone who said, look, I'm not a perfect person. I've made mistakes. I'm not proud of these things. I've expressed an apology, but, you know, this election is not about any one individual. It's really about the future of the country and I couldn't have been more proud of the way that he focused last night on the choice the American people face and really and truly, I'm proud of the job at that he did and proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him. “