PHOENIX (AP) - Sen. John McCain has joined the growing chorus of high-profile Republicans withdrawing support for Donald Trump.
The Arizona senator said in a statement Saturday that both he and his wife, Cindy McCain, will not be voting for Trump in the wake of lewd comments he made in a 2005 video interview.
McCain says they will instead enter a write-in candidate, "some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president."
McCain says there are no excuses for the GOP presidential nominee's offensive and demeaning remarks about women.
The senator criticized comments from Trump on several occasions but ultimately remained supportive.
McCain is running for re-election in November and locked in a tight race with Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who said in a statement Saturday that McCain's withdrawal of support for Trump comes too late.
Here is McCain's statement in its entirety:
"In addition to my well known differences with Donald Trump on public policy issues, I have raised questions about his character after his comments on Prisoners of War, the Khan Gold Star family, Judge Curiel and earlier inappropriate comments about women. Just this week, he made outrageous statements about the innocent men in the Central Park Five case.
"As I said yesterday, there are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.
"I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated. 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. Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me in this.
"Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President."
Kirkpatrick responded with a statement of her own:
“John McCain showed today he only cares about one thing: his political career. His decision is nothing more than a political calculation. It's been more than 24 hours since Trump’s comments were released. If it takes a full day for McCain to decide something is inappropriate, then he clearly doesn't have the leadership Arizonans need. He has abandoned his principles and changed his positions whenever he thought it would help prolong his 33-year career in Washington. For more than a year, McCain stood by Donald Trump, pledging his support more than 60 times. He refused to stand up to Trump when Trump insulted a Gold Star family. He refused to tell Trump to take back his bigoted remarks on immigrants and Latinos. He was silent when Trump mocked a man’s disability. He defended Trump when Trump insulted veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. McCain made it clear a long time ago: He is no longer a straight-talking maverick. He missed the chance to show political courage and lead. He failed that test. Now, it’s too late, John McCain. The people of Arizona deserve better.”
A tweet sent from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau's Twitter page said, "Donald Trump's comments are reprehensible. They have no place in our public discourse. I will be writing in Mike Pence for President #az01."
But the tweet was removed minutes later, and a new statement posted on Facebook said that tweet was sent without approval.
Gov. Doug Ducey also disavowed Trump's lewd comments in a statement released Saturday:
“The comments by Donald Trump are insulting and terribly demeaning to women, and I disavow them 100 percent. They are completely unacceptable. Angela and I have three boys and we work hard every day to raise them the right way and to have the utmost respect for women. We should demand the same from our leaders, especially those who want to occupy the White House, the highest office in the land.”
The governor did not say whether he is withdrawing his support for Trump.
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