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Under pressure, some of Trump's GOP critics reverse course

Two prominent Republican officials on Saturday called for Donald Trump to quit the presidential race. Yesterday, however, they re-endorsed him.
Image: Deb Fischer
State Rep. Deb Fischer, R-Lincoln, speaks to supporters during an election night party in Lincoln, Neb., Tuesday Nov 6, 2012. Fischer has been elected to the...
After the audio of Donald Trump's 2005 comments were publicly released late last week, a Republican stampede of sorts developed. Scores of Republican officials condemned their party's presidential nominee, many pulled their support for Trump's candidacy, and some even called for a new GOP candidate to lead the party's ticket.Among those who said Trump should step aside was Darryl Glenn, a far-right Republican Senate candidate in Colorado, facing long odds. "As a father, as a Christian, and as a Republican, I believe that we simply cannot tolerate a nominee who speaks this way about women," Glenn said in a statement on Saturday. He added that Trump should do the "honorable, selfless thing" and "voluntarily step aside." Glenn called it "the only way forward."Yesterday, Glenn re-endorsed Trump, praising his "contrition" during Sunday's debate. "I think he reset this campaign," Glenn told Fox News.As Politico noted, the Coloradan isn't the only Republican who's looking at Trump in a new light.

Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer on Tuesday reversed her call for Donald Trump to resign from the GOP ticket, telling a local radio station that it's "not a tough choice" to back him just three days after she urged him to quit."I plan to vote for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence on November 8," she said on Nebraska's KLIN. "I put out a statement ... with regard to Mr. Trump's comments. I felt they were disgusting. I felt they were unacceptable and I never said I was not voting for our Republican ticket."

As recently as Saturday, Fischer didn't just denounce Trump, she was one of several Republican officeholders who said Trump ought to "step aside and allow Mike Pence to serve as our party's nominee."By yesterday, however, the Nebraska senator had nevertheless changed her mind. Fischer considers Trump's comments about women "unacceptable," though she's nevertheless prepared to accept Trump's presidential candidacy."To me it's not a tough choice," Fischer added.We'll never know for sure just how much behind-the-scenes pressure Republicans are facing, and I suppose it's possible GOP candidates and office-holders like Fischer and Glenn reversed course quickly as a result of deep personal reflection and contemplation.But given the circumstances, it seems like a safer bet that they and other GOP politicians are hearing from their party's rabid base, demanding fealty to Donald Trump, no matter what he says or does, regardless of his odds of success.The intra-party pressure is no doubt quite intense. Some are handling it better than others.