Bob Dole stands by Trump

Bob Dole, the 1996 GOP presidential nominee, said he is sticking by Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE, the current Republican nominee. 

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Dole, a former senator from Kansas, told The Wall Street Journal he would be hard-pressed to back away from the party’s nominee in the wake of Trump’s lewd talk about women caught on tape.  

“I look at it a little differently,” Dole said. “I’ve been a Republican forever. The party has been very good to me. I’ve had many opportunities as a Republican, and I find it very difficult to desert the party after Trump won 40 percent of the vote in the primary.” 

Dole is now the only former GOP nominee who backs Trump — Mitt Romney has been a steadfast critic of the billionaire, and Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainControversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin Ex-Montenegro leader fires back at Trump: ‘Strangest president' in history MORE (Ariz.) rescinded his support Saturday. Both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have stayed silent on the 2016 race.

“It was 11 years ago,” Dole said of Trump's explicit comments. “He shouldn’t have said it, but there’s nothing he can do about it except to do well in the debate. I think he can overcome a lot of this in the debate tomorrow night.”

“The Clintons aren’t pure either,” Dole added.