Lane County Republican Party chairwoman stands by Donald Trump

Register-Guard - Oct 11, 2016

The chairwoman of the Lane County Republican Party said Monday that she will continue to support Donald Trump for president, despite a videotape of Trump making lewd comments about women in 2005 that surfaced last week.

“I think the comment was embarrassing. I know he apologized for it,” Cindy Land said. “...but it’s a decade-old conversation that was a private conversation, and it has definitely distracted us from the issues. I’m more worried about what Hillary (Clinton) has done than what Trump said a decade ago in a private conversation.”

Since the tape’s release by The Washington Post and NBC News, Republican leaders throughout the country have said that they no longer support Trump.

During his debate with Clinton on Sunday night, Trump apologized for the comments but said they were “locker-room talk.”

Julie Fahey, the Democratic candidate for House District 14, said the video shows Trump’s complete lack of respect for women.

“During the debate (Sunday) night, he wasn’t willing to acknowledge that what he was talking about was sexual assault,” Fahey said.

She said she had a personal reaction, as a woman, to the things Trump said.

“I have had that part of my body grabbed by a stranger without my consent,” Fahey said.

She said she is glad Republican leaders are disavowing Trump now. However, she said, they shouldn’t have been fine with everything the candidate has said leading up to this point about other groups of people, such as immigrants, racial minorities, POWs and the disabled.

“The Republicans who supported him were willing to align with him through all of that and willing to put party politics first, and that’s just deplorable to me,” Fahey said.

Her opponent, Republican Kathy Lamberg, did not renounce Trump, but said his comments in the 2005 video “are disgusting and extremely disrespectful toward all women.”

Lamberg said she is concentrating on her campaign.

“I am determined to focus on the need for good leadership in Oregon and talking to voters about plans for fixing our broken education system and creating more jobs in our community,” she said.

Fahey and Lamberg will participate in a forum from noon to 1:15 p.m. Friday at the City Club of Eugene, University of Oregon Baker Downtown Center, 975 High St.

In the video, Trump brags about women letting him kiss them and grab their genitals because he is famous.

“When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump says in the video. “Grab them by the p——. You can do anything.” He said of his impulse to kiss beautiful women: “I don’t even wait.”

In a video statement released by his campaign Saturday, Trump said, “I was wrong, and I apologize.” But he called the tape “nothing more than a distraction” from a decade ago.

Land echoed the presidential nominee’s comments, saying the video was released one month ahead of the campaign to distract voters from the issues.

“You think they just found that in a locker somewhere?” she said. “I don’t think so.”

She called the presidential campaign “exceptionally nasty on both sides,” but said she supports Trump’s vision for the United States.

“We are a nation that is concerned about our jobs, that keep leaving this country,” Land said. “We’re concerned about the safety and security of America. We’re concerned about the elite and the globalists who don’t seem to care about America and American families and our communities. Donald Trump does, and he has our best interests in his heart. He’s gonna work for us, not the donors, not the globalists, but for the American people and Oregonians. Because, let’s face it, there are a lot of Oregonians who have been left out and disenfranchised and ignored. Those people need a voice, and Donald Trump gives them a voice.”

Land said she believes Trump’s campaign will positively affect Republican candidates in Oregon by setting a standard for the party.

“I think it sets a clear delineation between the progressive agenda of growing government and the Republicans who are looking to reduce taxes and reduce regulations that are strangling our state,” she said.