After Months of Support, Ayotte Calls on Trump to Step Down

The N.H. senator is distancing herself from the GOP nominee.

Trump photo via iStock/andykatz; Ayotte photo via U.S. Naval Institute

Trump photo via iStock/andykatz; Ayotte photo via U.S. Naval Institute

One week after saying he’s “absolutely” a role model for children, Sen. Kelly Ayotte has called on Donald Trump to resign from the Republican ticket.

When asked if the Republican presidential nominee should step down in the wake of recently released recordings, in which Trump is heard bragging about grabbing women by their “pussy,” Ayotte said: ‘‘I would support that.’’

Ayotte said that Trump’s remarks, caught on a live microphone during a 2005 recording of NBC’s Access Hollywood, were “fundamentally different” than his previous comments, which have included attacks on Muslims, Mexican immigrants, a federal judge, American prisoners of war, a Gold Star family, the mentally handicapped, and Rosie O’Donnell.

Over the weekend, Ayotte joined the dozens of GOP lawmakers retracting their support for Trump, including Sen. John McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee.

“I wanted to be able to support my party’s nominee, chosen by the people, because I feel strongly that we need a change in direction for our country,” Ayotte said in a statement Saturday. “However, I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women.”

Ayotte said she will instead write in Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, for president on November 8. Trump, meanwhile, has brushed off calls for his resignation.

“I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life,” Trump said Saturday. “No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support. They’re not going to make me quit, and they can’t make me quit.”