(CNN) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Saturday said he could not defend remarks made by his running mate, Donald Trump, that described sexually aggressive behavior toward women.
“As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday,” Pence said in a statement. “I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night.”
Pence decided not to attend a Wisconsin political event Saturday afternoon hosted by House Speaker Paul Ryan, CNN has learned.
A campaign source told CNN “Wisconsin is off” for Pence. The source said the decision was made this morning. No reason was given by the source.
Ryan, who said he was “sickened” by Trump’s comments, announced Friday night that the GOP presidential nominee would no longer attend a Republican event in Wisconsin at which the two were slated to appear on Saturday.
Multiple sources told CNN that Trump was asked not to come by Ryan, and one source said the message was delivered via intermediaries.
Trump’s campaign had said Pence would represent him instead while the real estate magnate focuses on debate prep.
A person familiar with Pence’s thinking said the Indiana governor was “beside himself” and his wife was furious at Trump’s vulgar comments, the Associated Press reported.
TRUMP WILL ‘NEVER’ DROP OUT
The embattled Republican presidential nominee told a pair of newspapers on Saturday that he has no intention of quitting the presidential race despite a growing chorus of Republicans urging him to step aside in the wake of sexually aggressive remarks he made in 2005.
“I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life,” Trump told The Washington Post. “No, I’m not quitting. I have tremendous support.”
He also told The Wall Street Journal there is “zero chance I’ll quit.”
Trump struck the defiant tone on Saturday less than 24 hours after previously unaired footage of Trump having talking in lewd and sexually aggressive terms about women during a 2005 taping for “Access Hollywood” surfaced.
In that timespan, Republicans have quickly condemned Trump for the comment many of them have deemed “inexcusable” and “indefensible,” prompting Trump to issue his first-ever apology of his nearly 16-month campaign.
But Trump also signaled a willingness to fight, quickly turning from apology to defiant combativeness in the 90-second video, pivoting to attacking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her husband’s sex scandals.
The brash billionaire’s insistence to the pair of newspapers on Saturday morning, though, came as Republican members of congress began urging Trump to step aside, with several senators who had endorsed Trump, including Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, formally pulling their support.