WASHINGTON – U.S. House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan withdrew on Friday his invitation to the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for a joint event, which was to be the real estate mogul’s first appearance after a recording of his sexist comments surfaced in American media.
“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. 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 this clip suggests,” Ryan said in a statement, adding that, “In the meantime, he is no longer attending tomorrow’s event in Wisconsin.”
Ryan referred to the controversy unleashed following The Washington Post’s publication of a clip in which Trump used vulgar language to talk about women and women’s bodies.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. Grab them ... When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump says at one point on the tape.
Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus similarly condemned the words spoken by Trump, saying that “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner.”
The event this Saturday in Wisconsin, where the congressman’s re-election will play out in November, would have been the first campaign in which Ryan appeared together with Trump, as the two have expressed their differences to the public on many occasions.
Ryan delayed giving his official backing to the real estate magnate for several months due to Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, but eventually held several meetings with the billionaire, saying he will accept the will of the voters.
However, Ryan has stayed away from the Republican electoral sphere since Trump was officially confirmed as the party’s candidate at the convention held in Cleveland last July, something unusual for someone occupying a senior political post in the U.S. conservative bloc.
Indiana Governor and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence finally travelled to Wisconsin in place of Trump, as confirmed by the Trump campaign, explaining that the tycoon will now stay in New York to prepare for Sunday’s debate with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.