Local party representatives divided on Trump after lewd tape released


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the election only a month away, local politicians are already forming their opinions about the new tape showing Donald Trump using vulgar language to describe women.

While some Republicans have denounced their support for Trump, some local members of the party say they’re sticking by his side.

“Am I happy? Of course not,” Albany County Republican Committee Chairwoman Christine Benedict said. “I don’t think there is a woman who would be.”

Benedict calls Trump’s comments in the video derogatory, but says she still supports him in the race for president.

“Is Donald Trump rough around the edges?  Yes, but is Donald Trump someone that I believe this country needs? Absolutely,” Benedict said.

On the other hand, to Democratic State Senate candidate Sara Niccoli, Trump’s comments go too far.

“What I see out of the Trump camp is absolutely disgusting,” Niccoli said.

Niccoli says his rhetoric about women directly relates to his policy ideas and that his apology, which was also a veiled attack against Hillary Clinton, was not genuine.

“This is really a test of where we stand as a nation and as a nation, I believe that we do trust and respect women and on November 8th, we’re going to prove that,” Niccoli said.

Calling into NY1 Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said everyone should condemn this tape — that it isn’t about politics.

“To stand with this man because you happen to wear an elephant on your lapel really says that you’re putting your party loyalty in front of your value,” Cuomo said. “I think the politicians might be putting their politics before the people.”

Republican Senator Betty Little released a statement to NEWS10 saying she’s disappointed, but not acknowledging whether she supports Trump.

“As a member of the Senate Republican conference, I have been very proud of our work to advance issues important to women. I was honored to sponsor the law creating the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission to celebrate women gaining the right to vote in New York State in 1917. Certainly I am very disappointed in Trump’s statements on that tape. These are his words, his actions and his responsibility to address them. It is up to voters to make their own conclusions and decisions.”

Republican Representative Elise Stefanik posted a statement on Facebook: “Donald Trump’s inappropriate, offensive comments are just wrong – No matter when he said them or whatever the context. I hope his apology is sincere.”

Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted:

This is all ahead of Sunday night’s debate. Tune into NEWS10 for local reaction.

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