Politics

Dent: Pressure on GOP Leaders to Pull Away From Trump

Republican lawmakers doubt billionaire has a chance after tape released

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., suggests some replacements for Trump. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two prominent Republican lawmakers on Sunday called for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race.

“I have serious doubts now about Mr. Trump’s ability to beat Hillary Clinton. In fact, I don’t think he can,” Utah Sen. Mike Lee said on NBC’s "Meet the Press."

“I’m agnostic right now about who it needs to be,” Lee said when host Chuck Todd asked if Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence should be the nominee.

[Republican Drumbeat: What GOP Lawmakers Are Saying About Trump]

Lee alluded to the many sitting lawmakers in his party who have pulled their support for Trump.

“I think people have to consider the totality of the evidence,” he said. “There were a lot of others who wanted to be persuaded, who hoped they would be persuaded.”

Lee released a Facebook video denouncing Trump early Saturday morning.

On ABC’s ‘This Week,’ House Ethics Committee Chairman Charlie Dent said, “Look, will Donald Trump withdraw from the race? No. Should he? Yes."

"We have a Republican Party. We have to look out for what's in the best interest of the Republican Party, the whole party. We have congressional majorities at stake that have to be protected,” the Pennsylvania Republican said.

[Trump Unloads on GOP Abandoning Him]

Host George Stephanopoulos asked Dent about what he thinks Speaker Paul D. Ryan should do.

“I'm a great admirer of Speaker Ryan and he's in a different position than I am as the titular head of the Republican Party,” the congressman said.

“But I think if many of my colleagues who are not elected members of the leadership stand up and do what I have done, and many of my other colleagues have done — and by the way, I distanced myself from the nominee long before … But I think as more and more of my colleagues step up, I think that will put a lot of pressure on the Republican leaders to follow their members who are moving very quickly.”

[Republicans' Agonizing Wait for Latest Diagnosis]

Dent called on Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus to push away from Trump, too.

“And the chairman, you really must stand up and do what's in the best interest of the entire party,” he said.

Dent threw out some names on who should run instead.

“We only have 30 days left,” he said. “You know, we can talk about other candidates, people like Bob Gates, Condoleezza Rice, Governor Kasich, who I strongly supported for president, did I mention Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, former governor, all impeccable people who could actually win this race in 30 days whether or not.”

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