Oct. 11: This article has been updated to include comments from Michael Lakomy, president of College Democrats of Ohio and updated statements from David Parkhill, president of Ohio University College Republicans.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman joined a long list of Republicans who renounced Donald Trump late Saturday, saying he “can no longer support” his party’s presidential candidate.
“While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him,” Portman, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “I continue to believe our country cannot afford a Hillary Clinton presidency. I will be voting for Mike Pence for president.”
His statement came a day after a 2005 audio recording surfaced of Trump making lewd and vulgar comments about women.
Portman and Gov. John Kasich are currently the only Ohio Republicans who have denounced Trump’s candidacy since the recording surfaced.
“I will not vote for a nominee who has behaved in a manner that reflects so poorly on our country,” Kasich said in a statement. “Our country deserves better.”
Former Gov. Ted Strickland, who has trailed Portman in the Senate race since July, attacked Portman in a recent TV ad for waiting a day to announce his withdrawal of his endorsement.
As for a local reaction, Ohio University College Republicans president David Parkhill said he is “disappointed” in Portman’s recent actions.
“I’m pretty disappointed in (Portman and) the party leadership,” said David Parkhill, president of Ohio University College Republicans.
“I think we need to back this guy until Nov. 8 because if we’re divided, then we’re going to lose. If we lose I think we ought to hold every single one of those guys and girls accountable.”
“We agree, Ohio college students should be deeply disappointed in Senator Portman,” said Michael Lakomy, president of College Democrats of Ohio, in a statement.
Lakomy continued by saying Portman’s day-late unendorsement of Trump was “cowardly and disqualifying.”
Parkhill said OUCR members “absolutely condemn” what Trump said because “it’s obviously inappropriate.”
However, Parkhill said OUCRs are upholding its endorsement of Trump.
“We are sticking by him on the principle of us being college Republicans, a vehicle for the party,” Parkhill said. “The way I see it, Donald Trump is the only way to beat Hillary Clinton. I can appreciate that there are other candidates, but in the reality we live in it’s Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.”