After the release of the now-infamous 2005 video of Donald Trump relishing sexual assault, Republicans began dropping support for their nominee in droves.
But that was last Friday. Today is this Thursday. It’s been almost a whole week since we first heard Donald Trump say those vile things about women and, as The New York Times and others have reported, many of the Republicans who defected are slowly returning to their candidate.
If you’re starting to get whiplash from trying to watch GOP elected officials go from supporting Trump, to not supporting Trump, and then back to supporting Trump, here’s a handy guide to sorting it out.
Sen. John Thune (SD)
May 31: Thune is in – “I’m going to endorse the nominee and I think at this point, he’s the nominee. If people want change, I think their answer is Trump.”
October 8: Thune is out –
October 12: Thune’s back in – “He has a lot of work to do, I think, to win this election, but, I’m certainly not going to vote for Hillary Clinton.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
May 12: Capito’s on board – “Sen. Capito has said all along she will support the GOP nominee, and it looks like he will be the nominee.” (Capito spokesperson Ashley Berrang).
October 8: Capito off board – “As a woman, a mother, and a grandmother to three young girls, I am deeply offended by Mr. Trump’s remarks, and there is no excuse for the disgusting and demeaning language. Women have worked hard to gain the dignity and respect we deserve. The appropriate next step may be for [Trump] to re-examine his candidacy.”
October 12: Capito’s back on board – “I will continue to support the Republican ticket as I have pledged to do throughout this election cycle.”
Gov. Dennis Daugaard (SD)
August 16: Daugaard joins the team – “I was asked by my friend, former Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, to be a part of [Trump’s] advisory committee. I believe the next president needs to understand the importance of agriculture to our nation, and so I was happy to accept the opportunity to offer my thoughts to Mr. Trump.”
October 8: Daugaard leaves the team –
October 10: Daugaard’s back on the team – “I will vote Republican, for the Republican ticket as it stands on Election Day.”
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE)
May 10: Fortenberry won’t say no – “I’m not simply going to say never [Trump] because I do not want to empower Hillary Clinton. But at the same time, I believe Donald Trump has to earn my support.”
October 8: Fortenberry will say no – “As Americans we are faced with two strikingly bad choices: Donald Trump, who has abused women, and Hillary Clinton who has enabled the abuse of women. It’s all wrong. For my part, I ask that Donald Trump step aside and allow Mike Pence to become the Republican nominee.”
October 11: Fortenberry reluctantly says yes – “I’m going to vote for the Republican ticket because of three reasons: one is the Supreme Court, two is Mike Pence and his steady leadership, and three it’s a ‘no’ to Hillary Clinton.”
Sen. Deb Fischer (NE)
May 13: Fischer will – “I’ve endorsed the nominee—and he will be the nominee.”
October 8: Fischer won’t –
October 12: Fischer will again – “Well, like most Nebraskans, I am fully committed to defeating Hillary Clinton. I support the Republican ticket and I plan to vote for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence on November 8th.”
Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL)
July 25: Hi, Bradley – “When I look at what he’s saying and what he’s standing for and what I know about Hillary Clinton, what she has done in the past, and what she stands for now, it’s a clear decision to support Donald Trump.”
Oct. 8: Bye, Bradley – “It is now clear that Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States and cannot defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe he should step aside and allow Gov. Pence to lead the Republican ticket.”
Oct 12: Welcome back, Bradley – “He will support the Republican ticket on Election Day, as he has pledged to do all along.” (Byrne’s spokesman Seth Morrow).
Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ)
May 5: Scott’s got a plan – “Congressman Garrett intends to support the Republican nominee.” (Garrett campaign manager Sarah Neibart).
October 8: Scott doesn’t know – “I am appalled that he would brag about violating a woman’s physical boundaries. As a husband and father of two daughters, I denounce his comments and the behavior that it incites. I believe that Mike Pence would be the best nominee for the Republican Party to defeat Hillary Clinton.”
October 12: Scott knows – “Donald Trump remains the nominee of the Republican Party, and Rep. Garrett has always said he will vote for the Republican Party nominee.” (Garrett’s campaign manager Sarah Neibart).