“Interviews with more than a dozen state and county Republican officials and party activists found most of them closing ranks around their embattled nominee.”
““It just does really all seem manufactured,” said Will Estrada, chairman of Virginia’s Loudoun County (In response to recent allegations made against the Republican nominee)… “If it came out that he actually groped a woman or something like that and it’s confirmed, that’s kind of a deal-breaker for me. That’s a crime and that’s terrible. But he apologized for what he said on the tape. That’s good enough for me.”
“Well, come on. If all of this stuff happened, where were they 35 years ago? It’s piling on at this point,” said Karen Fesler, an Iowa GOP activist. “The man has been in the public eye the last 40 years, if this happened to these people, why didn’t they say something then?”
“Most people are just miffed at the fact that they don’t condone or like what’s said — but what they’re really upset about is how the media isn’t focused on what [Clinton]’s done,” said Ohio’s Lake County GOP chairman Dale Fellows, referencing the 2012 attack in on Americans in Benghazi, her support for abortion and her husband’s infidelities. “Not one person has called me from our central committee or elected officials or anybody else and said anything about it other than let’s get him elected because she can’t be president.”
Marian Krumberger, GOP chair of Wisconsin’s Brown County, said Bill Clinton “desecrated the Oval Office, and we’re going to get all worked up because [Trump] talks dirty?
“You have a war breaking out between Obama and Russia, and you’re fussing about somebody’s improper actions with a female?” said Tamara Scott, Republican National Committeewoman from Iowa. She said it’s “tragic if there was any impropriety,” but added, “The future of this country is at stake. I get that he’s not a Boy Scout. I’m looking for a bulldog.”
“This is a conspiracy against you, the American people, and we cannot let this happen or continue,” (Mr. Trump) said at a rally in front of thousands of screaming supporters. “This is our moment of reckoning as a society and as a civilization itself.”
Like Trump, many local officials insist that the fresh round of allegations aren’t breaking through—at least not in the same way the Trump tape did. Voters, they argue, are fatigued by what they say is the media’s breathless reaction to every Trump scandal.
The Republican National Committee also reaffirmed its full-throated support for Trump in a Monday conference call, beating back suggestions that the committee may be looking for an escape hatch.
Several Republican county leaders said the new series of allegations are serving to energize Trump’s base. They talked about floods of supporters asking for signs and offering to volunteer, calls of support – or condemning GOP leaders who have abandoned Trump – giving the party a heightened sense of energy heading into the final 26 days of the election season.
“It’s not like people are demoralized. They just feel like they’re in a battle for their lives,” said Alex Triantafilou, chairman of the Cincinnati-area Hamilton County GOP.”