Donald Trump reeled Friday under revelations of shockingly crude comments he made about women, dangerously undermining the Republican's latest attempts to steady a presidential bid at risk of imploding.
Trump tried to head off some of the damage by issuing a statement apologizing "if anyone was offended" by vulgar remarks captured on a 2005 tape and made public Friday. In the recording, obtained by The Washington Post and NBC News, Trump describes trying to have sex with a married woman and brags about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.
The one-sentence response from the head of Trump's Republican Party was devastating.
"No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever," said Reince Priebus, who had stood by Trump through his past provocative comments.
So, too, were the words of House Speaker Paul Ryan: "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 added tartly that Trump was "no longer attending" a joint campaign appearance set for Saturday in Wisconsin.
According to a Trump Campaign news release, Mike Pence will be taking his place.
Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, was "beside himself" and his wife was furious, according to a person familiar with their thinking. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to share the private discussion.
In public, Pence ignored questions shouted by reporters in Rossford, Ohio, where he was campaigning with his daughter.
Other Republicans, painfully aware of the possible impact on their own political fates, were quick to chime in. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who is locked in a close race, called the comments "totally inappropriate and offensive."
Illinois Senator Mark Kirk tweeted the following:
"Access Hollywood" said an Associated Press story about Trump's lewd behind-the-scenes comments as star of "The Apprentice" led it to dig through its archives and turn up the previously un-aired footage from 2005. It was recorded during a bus ride while Trump was on his way to tape an episode of the soap opera "Days of Our Lives."
In a statement after the tape was revealed, Trump called his comments "locker room banter" and a "private conversation that took place many years ago."
"Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close," Trump said. "I apologize if anyone was offended."