Congressional candidates for New York’s 19th Congressional District have weighed in on an 11-year-old recording of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in which he’s heard bragging about how his fame allowed him to “do anything” to women.
The campaign of Republican John Faso, a 63-year-old lawyer and former Republican minority leader in the state Assembly, emailed a statement to the Times Herald-Record on Tuesday explaining his position on Trump.
Faso is a tight and bruising race with Democrat Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law school professor and anti-corruption crusader, to capture the open seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson, a retired Army colonel.
Here’s Faso’s full statement:
My position has always been that I will support the Republican ticket that was the product of the primary nominating process. At the same time, I have some significant policy differences with our nominee. Moreover, as a father and husband, I was deeply offended and disturbed by the comments made by our nominee in the 11 year old video. That type of comment has no place in public or private conversation, especially from a candidate for public office.
I find both candidates for president to be seriously flawed. I cannot support Hillary Clinton for president due to our policy differences on a range of issues and I have not endorsed Donald Trump nor have I decided to even vote for him in November.
What is clear to me is that Ms. Teachout, who after calling Hillary Clinton corrupt last November prior to running for Congress, has now embraced her candidacy. How can this self-described opponent of corruption decide to back a candidate she has labeled as corrupt? Has her ambition for election clouded her judgement on such a fundamental question?
The fact is neither candidate for Congress in the 19th district has any control over who will be elected President. Instead of being focused on real issues and challenges facing our district, Ms. Teachout prefers to distract attention away from her radical economic and political views. That is no surprise, since the more voters learn of her support for new energy taxes, support for the Iran deal and a radical expansion of government, her policies will be rejected.
On Friday Teachout’s campaign released a statement from Teachout condemning Trump’s remarks as “crude and vulgar” in the recording. Here’s her statement:
John Faso has repeatedly affirmed his support for Donald Trump, despite Mr. Trump’s troubling pattern of degrading women. The recently released recording of Donald Trump is deeply offensive. Even if John Faso disavows Mr. Trump’s comments, it’s too late. John Faso can’t be expected to stand up for the needs of the women in this district if he can’t even stand up to Donald Trump.
Since the leak of the video, many prominent Republicans have withdrew their endorsements of Trump and condemned his remarks.
Speaking on a microphone aboard an “Access Hollywood” bus, Trump told Billy Bush how he unsuccessfully tried to “f–k” a married woman. He said about women that “when you’re a star they let you do it” and “you can do anything…grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
The 19th district includes all or part of 11 counties, including all of Ulster and Sullivan counties.