Rep. Blake Farenthold likes Donald Trump — likes him so much, in fact, that he might keep on supporting him even if the GOP contender boasted about rape.
Farenthold, a Texas Republican leader, appeared on MSNBC Tuesday to discuss the Trump presidential campaign, which has been upended since Friday by a leaked 2005 tape that showed the real estate mogul bragging about grabbing women by their private parts.
Farenthold endorsed Trump back in July, and he doesn’t appear willing to abandon ship now. When host Chris Hayes asked if Farenthold would support Trump even if he said he liked raping women, the congressman stammered through an answer. “I’d consider it,” he finally said.
The congressman later apologized for the gaffe, saying he had been “thrown off by the anchor’s use of a hypothetical question.”
I apologize for my failure to immediately condemn anyone who would say something as outrageous as they like raping women. (1/3)
— Blake Farenthold (@farenthold) October 12, 2016
Here’s the entire exchange below. Hayes also tweeted video of the relevant portion of the interview.
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) October 12, 2016
Hayes: Congressman, if someone off the record in a locker room — this was not in the locker room, this was the workplace — said, ‘I really like raping women,’ would that be locker room talk?
Farenthold: Again, you don’t know the entire context of all this.
Hayes: You would be fine with that?
Farenthold: I don’t like what he said.
Hayes: If a tape came out —
Farenthold: Donald Trump can defend himself on that.
Hayes: If a tape came out with Donald Trump saying, ‘I really like to rape women,’ you would continue to endorse him?
Farenthold: Again, that would be bad. And I would have to consider — I’d consider it. But again we’re talking about what Donald Trump said 10 years ago, as opposed to what Hillary Clinton has done in the past two or three years.
Other GOP leaders have been thrown into a quandary since the videotape leaked. House Speaker Paul Ryan has attracted fierce criticism from Trump supporters after he said this week he would no longer campaign for Trump but would focus instead on keeping the Republican majority intact in the House of Representatives.