UPDATE: 12:07 a.m. EDT — Donald Trump, under fire for his lewd and explicit comments about groping women, has issued a video apology for his remarks.
“I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them,” the Republican presidential nominee said. “I said it, it was wrong, and I apologize.”
However, he also argued that the footage, obtained by Washington Post, was “nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today.”
“Hillary Clinton, and her kind, have run our country into the ground,” he added. “I’ve said some foolish things, but there is a big difference between words and actions. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.”
However, the reaction to the video apology was far from favorable, with many calling it insufficient.
Yes, I believe @realDonaldTrump. He is bring treated well by his captors.
— Paul Begala (@PaulBegala) October 8, 2016
What Trump DID apologize for: talking about sexually assaulting women.
What Trump did NOT apologize for: ACTUALLY sexually assaulting women
— Mo Elleithee (@MoElleithee) October 8, 2016
Hostage video. Stiff prompter read.
— mike murphy (@murphymike) October 8, 2016
In the first presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had the soundbite of the evening when she referenced Alicia Machado, the Miss Universe winner of a pageant owned by Donald Trump, and the insulting names the billionaire businessman made about the Venezuelan woman's weight.
But the latest Trump incident might be more difficult for him to come back from. Trump uses lewd terms to describe seducing and non-consensually groping a married woman in a video with entertainment reporter Billy Bush from 2005 posted Friday afternoon by The Washington Post. The married woman was subsequently identified by entertainment program "Access Hollywood" as former host Nancy O’Dell.
The fallout was swift for Trump, with Bush and many high-level Republicans rushing to condemn his comments hours later. CNN even reported that there were calls for him to drop out of the race, and have his running mate, Mike Pence, become the nominee.
— Mark Kirk (@SenatorKirk) October 8, 2016
Bush's statement read: “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.”
Sen. John McCain, who is in a tough battle for re-election in Arizona, released a statement on Friday night.
"There are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments. No woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences," McCain said.
Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chair, also joined in. “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Priebus said.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan retracted his invitation for Trump to attend a Wisconsin event on Saturday.
“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified,” Ryan said. “I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than the clip suggests.”
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert withdrew his support for Trump, as did former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.
With such overwhelming condemnation, and with the general election just a month away, some may be wondering if there is voter fatigue for Trump's long list of controversies. For a candidate that has thrived off causing a stir with bold statements, it may be hard for him to bounce back from these misogynistic comments, especially considering that 53 percent of voters in the 2012 election were women.
Prior to these comments, Trump was struggling to gain women voters. After the first presidential debate, 27 percent of likely women voters said the debate made them think worse of Trump.
On Sunday, Clinton and Trump meet again in the second debate. The opportunity for Trump to redeem himself in front of a national audience may fall on deaf ears.
Polls continue to show a tight race. In a four-way race, Clinton leads Trump, 44.1 percent to 40.9 percent, with Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson at 6.5 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 2.3 percent, according to averages compiled by Real Clear Politics. In a head-to-head matchup, Clinton has a lead of 47.6 percent to 42.9 percent.