NBC News reports:
A defiant Donald Trump pledged to finish out the race on Saturday as a stampede of Republican politicians denounced his behavior toward women and a number openly called on him to quit. “I’d never withdraw,” Trump told The Washington Post. “I’ve never withdrawn in my life.”
Trump also told The Wall Street Journal there is “zero chance I’ll quit.” “I never, ever give up,” Trump told the newspaper. “The support I’m getting is unbelievable, because Hillary Clinton is a horribly flawed candidate,” he added.
The timing of newly obtained audio from 2005 in which Trump boasted how he used his stardom to approach women and “grab ’em by the pussy,” could not be much worse for the nominee, whose standing with women in surveys has already been abominable throughout the campaign. “This one matters,” a Trump campaign staffer conceded, adding they had “no idea” how to spin the story in their favor. “It’s over,” a Republican strategist who has been supportive of Trump said on Friday. “Never seen anything like it. Never will.”
In the immediate term, the tape is threatening to decisively break Trump’s support within the GOP, whose leaders must weigh whether its worth it to defend Trump and risk poisoning the party brand or distance themselves and risk demoralizing their base. Based on the early reaction, they’re choosing the latter approach.