- Associated Press - Sunday, October 9, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is calling on Donald Trump to step down as the party’s presidential nominee for his recently released comments about women.

Haslam issued a statement Sunday calling on Trump to remove himself and clear the way for Trump running mate Mike Pence to face Democrat Hillary Clinton next month.

“I want to emphasize that character in our leaders does matter,” Haslam said. “None of us in elected office are perfect, but the decisions that are made in the Oval Office have too many consequences to ignore the behavior we have seen” from Trump.

Trump, whose remarks were recorded in 2005, has said he has no plans to quit. Haslam said if that’s the case, he plans to vote for a write-in candidate for president from the Republican Party.

Haslam previously has brushed off questions about whether he would endorse Trump, saying his attention was directed toward winning legislative races.

On Sunday Haslam said his concerns with Trump’s policy positions and statements made during the campaign have kept the governor from endorsing him.

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