President Trump briefly considered dropping out of the presidential race after the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced one month before the election, The Blaze reports.
According to Doug Wead, the author of “Game of Thorns: The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton’s Failed Campaign and Donald Trump’s Winning Strategy,” Trump considered withdrawing from the Republican ticket and allowing his then-running mate, Vice President Mike Pence, to take his place.
The 2005 tape featured lewd remarks made by Trump asserting that he could “do anything” to women, including “grab them by the p***y,” because of his celebrity status.
“After ‘Access Hollywood,’ … he briefly considered passing the torch to Pence,” Wead told Conservative radio host Chris Stigall on Wednesday.
“[A]t that point, his family and Reince Priebus, especially, got in there and said, ‘No, you can’t. You’ve got to go all the way to the end. This can’t be transferred. This is a personality following. They trust you. They don’t trust politicians.”
The author argues that it was Trump’s strength, “brilliant branding,” and rejection of political correctness that led to his stunning victory against Hillary Clinton last November.
“When you think of a brand — his brand was, ‘Make America Great Again,’ and the second part of his brand is, ‘I’m not a politician,’” Wead said. “So, when he got off message — and people complained about that all the time — he was really on message because he was saying, ‘I’m not a politician, look at this dumb thing I’m saying.’ It kept the ball rolling.”
After the video surfaced, Trump issued a public apology video noting that he was a “better man” and that his comments from the video “don’t reflect who I am.”
“I never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not,” the then-candidate said. “I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them.”