For months, Republican Senate nominee Scott Milne has refused to say who he would support in the race for president. On Saturday, he finally ruled out one candidate — but not before some public wavering.
Reached late Saturday afternoon, the Pomfret travel agency executive called newly disclosed remarks made by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump "disgusting" and "offensive." In a 2005 video made public Friday, Trump speaks of women in lewd, sexually explicit terms and describes his propensity to grab women's genitalia.
Milne, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), said Trump was "not anybody you'd want to have as a role model for your children." But he said the video had not moved him from his neutral stance in the presidential race.
"It's not enough for me to change what I told you, which is, 'I'll tell you who I'm voting for when we get closer,'" Milne said. "I do not yet know who I'm going to vote for ... The last 48 hours makes it harder to support our party's nominee, but I'm still focused on my race."
Twenty minutes later, Milne called back and said he had considered the matter further and decided he could not support Trump after all. He explained that he had been in a "news blackout" for much of the day.
"I was optimistic that Trump was going to evolve into a candidate that I at least wouldn't vote against, but he has evolved into a candidate that I can't vote for in the last 24 hours," Milne said. "This latest thing was the straw that broke the camel's back. Whether I was going to vote for him or not, now it's clear I'm not going to vote for him."
Milne said he was also "not happy" with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and hoped that his party would "find a way to get Trump off the ticket." He said he did not know who would receive his vote.
Leahy, who has endorsed Clinton, said in a statement Saturday, "The most recent revelation about Mr. Trump is the latest in a string of appalling and offensive comments about women. This cannot be tolerated or excused away. Donald Trump is not fit to be president."
Milne is the last major Republican candidate in Vermont to say he would not vote for Trump. GOP gubernatorial nominee Phil Scott and lieutenant gubernatorial nominee Randy Brock both said last year they could not back him.
In a statement released Saturday, Scott called the comments Trump made in the video "disgusting and disappointing."
"Like the overwhelming majority of Americans, and Vermonters, I want to elect and serve with public servants who treat all people with respect and dignity and who serve as positive examples for our children," Scott said. "Donald Trump is not one of those people."