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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Northwest Republicans React To Trump Recording

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Campaign photo
File photo. Some Northwest Republicans are distancing themselves from Donald Trump.

Some Northwest Republicans are denouncing and in some cases distancing themselves from Donald Trump because of his lewd comments about women.

But not all.

In an interview with KOMO Radio, Washington Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison called Trump’s recorded conversation about women “repulsive.” But she then went on the offensive and said Trump was a Democrat at the time and that former President Bill Clinton “defined this behavior.”

Washington Democrats swiftly condemned Hutchison. Meanwhile, a pair of Northwest members of Congress were quick to abandon Trump. Washington Republicans Dave Reichert and Jaime Herrera Beutler said they would not vote for the Republican nominee for president.

They have the option of writing in other Republicans. Other Northwest Republicans condemned Trump’s comments, but stopped short of saying if he’d lost their support.

Oregon gubernatorial candidate Bud Pierce called Trump’s recorded conversation with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush “degrading, unbecoming and unacceptable period.”

Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Trump’s degrading comments have “no place in public or private conversations.”

The chair of Trump’s Washington campaign, state Senator Don Benton, in a text message said “Our volunteer operations here are not distracted by 10-year-old comments made in a private setting.”

Benton went on to say “Our team remains focused on important major policy differences between Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton.”