Thune Still Voting for Trump Despite Calling for Him to Step Aside

South Dakota senator says party nominee still has 'a lot of work to do'

South Dakota Sen. John Thune had called on Donald Trump to step down as the Republican Party's presidential nominee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
South Dakota Sen. John Thune had called on Donald Trump to step down as the Republican Party's presidential nominee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted October 12, 2016 at 1:07pm

South Dakota Sen. John Thunes said he will likely still support Donald Trump for president despite calling on him to step aside as the Republican nominee.

“I intend to support the nominee of our party and if anything should change, then I’ll let you know, but he’s got a lot of work to do, I think, if he’s going to have any hope of winning this election,” Thune told the Sioux Falls CBS affiliate KELOLand Television on Tuesday.

The Rapid City Journal also reported that Thune would likely still support Trump.

Thune, who chairs the Senate GOP conference, was the highest ranking Republican in the chamber to call on Trump to step aside as the nominee Saturday. A slew of Republicans revoked their support for Trump after a 2005 video showed him using lewd and graphic language to describe his sexual advances toward women.

“Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately,” Thune tweeted from his official Senate Twitter account Saturday afternoon.

A Thune aide said the senator still stands by his Saturday tweet.

“The video that came out on Friday was to me, out of all the statements made, that have come out during the campaign, was more offensive than anything that I had seen,” Thune said on Tuesday.

Contact Bowman at bridgetbowman@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter @bridgetbhc.