Indiana Governor Mike Pence denounced the sexually explicit remarks made more than a decade ago by his running mate, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, but signaled a willingness to forgive the real estate mogul for the latest controversy buffeting their joint bid for the White House.
In a written statement issued nearly a day after the 2005 comments first surfaced, Pence on Saturday pointedly refused to defend Trump—a politically unprecedented move that highlighted how the real estate mogul's candidacy has splintered the Republican Party and broken traditional mores. Meanwhile, other prominent Republicans harshly condemned the new revelation.
Underscoring the seriousness of the situation, Trump's wife Melania also issued a statement that was both critical of his behavior yet supportive of his candidacy.
In a leaked audio, Trump was caught making crude comments about women, unleashing a firestorm of criticism and dominated the news cycle.
"As a husband and a father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven year old video released yesterday," Pence's statement read.
"I do not condone his remarks and I cannot defend them," Pence said. "I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologize to the American people," he added, referencing the late night video statement issued by the GOP contender.
Pence added that he would "pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what's in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night," the Indiana governor added.