McCain withdraws support for Trump
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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain on Pelosi, McCarthy fight: 'I think they're all bad' Democrats seek to counter GOP attacks on gas prices Biden nominates Jeff Flake as ambassador to Turkey MORE (R-Ariz.) on Saturday withdrew his support from Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE in the wake of leaked tapes of Trump making lewd comments about women in 2005.


"I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated," McCain said in a statement. "He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. I thought I owed his supporters that deference."

"But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy," he continued. 

"Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me in this."

McCain joins a growing list of GOP lawmakers who have withdrawn their support of the embattled business mogul.

With McCain's defection, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is now the only living Republican presidential nominee to support Trump.

The Arizona senator, who has a double-digit lead in recent polls over a Democratic challenger, has largely kept his distance from Trump. He has criticized the mogul for attacking a Gold Star family and a federal judge of Mexican heritage, but until Saturday had stood by his endorsement.

The withdrawal comes over a year after Trump said that McCain, who was tortured for years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, was not a war hero because "he was captured."

"I like people that weren't captured, OK? I hate to tell you," Trump said at the Family Leadership Summit in July 2015.

In his statement Saturday, McCain did not reveal who he would vote for, but maintained that he would not cross party lines.

"Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump," he said. "I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonA path to climate, economic and environmental justice is finally on the horizon Polling misfired in 2020 — and that's a lesson for journalists and pundits Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe MORE. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President."

- Updated at 5:22 p.m.