U.S. Rep. Tom Reed’s campaign issued two statements in recent days condemning Donald Trump’s lewd statements about women, but the congressman — who is up for re-election — continued support of the Republican presidential nominee.
Reed joined his opponent, Democrat John Plumb of Jamestown, in assessing negatively Trump’s statements about grabbing women’s genitals while filming an “Access Hollywood” segment 11 years ago.
Plumb called the comments “disgusting and inexcusable,” while questioning Reed’s continued support for Trump.
Friday night, Reed’s Washington office issued a press release praising the passage of the Survivor’s Bill of Rights Act of 2016.
“We care about victims of sexual assault, and this law is a monumental step forward to protect their rights,” Reed stated after the Washington Post first reported on Trump’s 2005 remarks, which were captured by a hot microphone.
“Women are never to be talked about in this way,” Reed stated in the press release. “As someone with eight older sisters, a wife and daughter I care deeply about, it is disappointing and offensive to hear these words. It is not right and these comments must be called out for what they are, just wrong."
But by Monday, Reed’s campaign still stood behind Trump, as indicated in a second statement about the presidential campaign that was issued by communications director Amy Hasenberg.
“Like many Americans, and as I previously stated, Donald Trump’s comments from 2005 are just plain wrong and I will not defend them,” stated Reed, who was an early congressional supporter of Trump after his initial favorite, Jeb Bush, dropped out of the Republican presidential primary race.”
Reed, however, blasted the alternative.
“A Hillary Clinton presidency is unacceptable,” he stated. “As said last night, she is looking for a liberal Supreme Court to enact her agenda. She demonstrated extreme recklessness regarding classified information and risking American lives simply for her own personal convenience.
“Most troublesome, she arrogantly believes she can publicly state one thing while privately carrying out a different agenda. We have to change the D.C. establishment, so I continue supporting Donald Trump as an outsider who will shake up D.C.”
Plumb questioned Reed’s “continued support for Donald Trump in light of recent comments caught on tape that are disgusting and inexcusable.”
“The actions being discussed are also potentially criminal,” he added in a statement issued by his campaign. “Congressman Tom Reed has support for Donald Trump that knows no bounds. In light of the events of the past 24 hours, leaders from his own political party across the country are calling for a change.”
Reed to this point has also opted to retain his position as campaign co-chair of Trump’s campaign in New York state.
“This shouldn’t surprise us,” Plumb stated. “Congressman Reed will do and say anything to advance his own self-interests at the expense of all of us here in the Southern Tier. And it is clear that he made a self-serving political calculation that this is the best way to advance his Washington career and the special interests that he protects.
"This dangerous doublespeak of pretending to stand with victims while advancing a candidate that demeans women and promotes sexual violence is damaging to our entire country.”
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)