Governor Otter, Idaho GOP Double Down on Support for Trump 

click to enlarge Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter - STATE OF IDAHO
  • State of Idaho
  • Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter
Days after Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo and Rep. Mike Simpson joined a growing number of their Republican colleagues in dropping support for the party's presidential nominee following a series of scandals surrounding lewd comments he made about women, three other high-profile Gem State Republicans reiterated their support for real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump.

"My continuing support for Mr. Trump's candidacy is solely focused on ensuring that the best candidate is elected president of the United States," Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said in a statement made public by his office Oct. 11.

The statement from Otter, who is honorary co-chair of the Idaho Trump campaign, continued:
"There’s no question that Donald Trump’s comments about women are unacceptable and unfortunate. But I accept his apology and his contrition at face value."
Otter's sentiment was echoed by Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates.
"The Idaho Republican Party remains steadfast in its support for all of our nominees, selected by the people, from the top of the ticket to the bottom. As is our duty and privilege in the party, we will remain focused on electing Republicans in Idaho."
Trump's already controversial candidacy was rocked Oct. 8, when a 2005 recording of a conversation between Trump and then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush surfaced, in which Trump bragged about seducing, groping and kissing women.

"Grab them by the pussy," he can be heard saying on the tape. "You can do anything."

His comments became a major point of contention during the Oct. 9 presidential debate and split Idaho's congressional delegation, with Crapo calling Trump's comments "disrespectful, profane and demeaning," and Simpson calling the candidate "unfit to be president."

There has been no word yet from Sen. Jim Risch but Rep. Raul Labrador has doubled down for Trump, releasing statements on Oct. 9 and Oct. 11 in which he criticized Trump for his comments but remained steadfast in his support.

"No woman should be subjected to such lewd attention," he wrote, but, "in this race, Donald Trump is a better choice for America than Hillary Clinton."

Support for the embattled presidential candidate among Republicans has eroded since Oct. 8. According to the Democratic Governors Association, nine Republican governors oppose his candidacy, while top GOP leaders like U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Paul Ryan (Wisconsin) and Arizona Sen. John McCain have either publicly reversed their support for Trump or backed out of campaign appearances with him. Trump's candidacy is still supported by 21 Republican governors.

"While Republican governors across the country are rejecting Donald Trump, Butch Otter is standing by his side. Idaho voters will remember that Butch Otter endorsed Donald Trump's attacks on women, veterans, Latinos and Muslims. Otter has cast his lot with Donald Trump, and the ship is sinking," wrote DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold in a statement.
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