Running mate Mike Pence says he cannot defend Trump’s indecent remarks about women heard in video from 2005.
US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has told The Wall Street Journal newspaper there is "zero chance" he will drop out of the presidential race, amid mounting criticism and calls to quit following revelations of indecent comments about women .
Trump said he will "never, ever give up", according to the report published on Saturday, ahead of a statement from his vice presidential running mate Mike Pence, declaring that he can "not condone his remarks and cannot defend them".
Pence said: "As a husband and a father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologised to the American people."
Trump’s wife, Melania, also weighed in on the controversy saying her husband’s remarks were "unacceptable and offensive", but added that she had accepted his apology. She also appealed to voters to accept Trump’s apology.
On Saturday afternoon, Arizona Senator John McCain, 2008 Republican nominee for president, announced he has withdrawn his support for Trump, saying " it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy." He said he and his wife, Cindy, will not be voting for Trump.
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, had earlier condemned the "vile degradtions" expressed by Trump. Romney had refused the support Trump as candidate and nominee.
Both McCain and Romney stopped short of calling for Trump’s withdrawal from the election.
Other Republican party members, meanwhile, were adamant that Trump leave the race altogether , with Carly Fiorina, an opponent during the primary, urging him to "step aside" and for the party "to replace him with Gov. Mike Pence."
Republican Senator Mike Lee of the US state of Utah also urged Trump to quit race, as has a growing list of members of Congress and other elected officials.
Another senator, Mike Crapo of Idaho also joined in the chorus of calls for Trump to quit: "This is not a decision that I have reached lightly, but his pattern of behaviour left me no choice."
Meanwhile, Republican Senators Mark Kirk and John Thune took to social media urging Trump to withdraw from the race.
It was revealed on Friday that Trump, a former reality star and New York billionaire, had made lewd and sexually charged comments about women back in 2005.
Trump bragged about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women on a video recording released by the Washington Post and NBC News on Friday.
The remarks were captured by a live microphone that Trump did not appear to know was recording their conversation.
’History of lewd comments’
The video’s release comes just two days before Trump will face his rival, Hillary Clinton, in their second presidential debate, and as he confronts a series of stories about his past comments about women.
After the release of the video, Trump apologised via his Twitter page.
"I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret ... Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologise," he said in a filmed statement.
Bill Schneider, a political analyst and professor of policy, government and international affairs at George Mason University, told Al Jazeera that Trump’s words were "devastating" and "poisonous".
"Most Americans already think he’s not qualified [to be US president] but this just confirms that," Schneider said.
"If he stays in the race, that’s his decision, but he’s almost certain to lose."
Schneider said, however, that despite the blunder, Trump’s "core supporters will probably stay with him".
Charlie Wolf, a Republican commentator, told Al Jazeera that Trump’s statements were indefensible.
"But I also think, there is something to be said about the timing of this," Wolf said, adding "there’s hypocrisy" about the controversy, citing the record of former president Bill Clinton".
As president, Clinton was caught having sexual relations with a woman, other than his wife Hillary, who is the Democratic presidential candidate.
Trump has a long history of making lewd and highly sexual comments towards and about women.
The Associated Press news agency reported this week that during his years as a reality TV star on the The Apprentice, Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language, rating female contestants by the size of their breasts, and talking about which ones he would like to have sex with.