NEW YORK, Oct. 9 (UPI) — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Sunday defended controversial comments made by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, just hours after the candidate’s campaign manager and the Republican National Committee chairman canceled appearances on Sunday’s news talk shows.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the comments made by Trump were many years ago when he wasn’t running for public office. They should be put aside, he said.
Giuliani said Trump’s comments were about “his personal behavior. Talk and action are two different things. I don’t know the details of it. I do know this is the kind of talk that goes on among a lot of people.”
“You know, Chuck, the reality is that in both cases, both people have things in their personal lives that maybe if they could redo it, they would do it differently,” he told Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press. “And the reality is that this is a situation in which neither side should throw stones because both sides have sinned.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus cancelled his appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, following the fallout brought on by the release of the 2005 video in which Trump spoke in vulgar terms about seducing women. Priebus also cancelled an appearance on ABC’s This Week.
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway also cancelled her Sunday appearance on Fox News Sunday. Conway was also scheduled to appear on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, but cancelled.
Giuliani said he was, simply the one chosen to speak on the news shows and that it could easily have been Conway instead of him.
Giuliani said Trump fully intends to participate in Sunday night’s second presidential debate and he may address allegations Hillary Clinton turned a blind eye to her husband’s actions, which he alleges include rape and attacks against women.
In a statement released Friday, shortly after Trump’s comments were made public, Priebus condemned the candidate for discussing women in a lewd manner, the Washington Examiner reported.
“No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Priebus said.
Among those withdrawing support for Trump’s presidential bid is Arizona Sen. John McCain, the New York Times reported. McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, withdrew his
support on Saturday,
“I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated,” McCain said in a statement. “But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”
Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state under President George W. Bush, who has not discussed politics much since leaving office, called for Trump to withdraw from the race. She said she prefers to support a nominee with dignity and stature.
“Enough!” Rice said in a Facebook post. “Donald Trump should not be president. He should withdraw.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said he was “sickened” by Trump’s behavior. He withdrew an invitation for Trump to attend a Saturday event in Wisconsin. “There is an elephant in the room. That is not what we are here to talk about today.” Ryan said during the event. Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, have condemned Trump in past statements, as well.
Others stood with Trump. Mega campaign donors Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who previously supported Sen.Ted Cruz, said Trump’s remarks on the audio were irrelevant to the race.
“If Mr. Trump had told Billy Bush, whoever that is, earlier this year that he was for open borders, open trade and executive actions in pursuit of gun control, we would certainly be rethinking our support for him,” the Mercers said in a statement.