Watch CBS News

Ayotte Withdraws Support For Trump, Will Write In Pence

MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS/AP) — New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she is dropping her support for Donald Trump and plans to write in vice presidential running mate Mike Pence's name for president.

Ayotte says in statement, "I'm a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women. I will not be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and instead will be writing in Governor Pence for president on Election Day."

Her comments refer to a recording made public Friday that features Trump making lewd and sexually charged comments about women in 2005.

Her statement comes after months of saying she would vote for Trump but not endorse him.

Ayotte's re-election contest against Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is one of the closest in the nation. Hassan and will hold a press conference later Saturday to address Trump's and Ayotte's comments alongside several female Democratic senators.

The release of Trump's remarks may cost other Republican votes.

"This is bad, particularly when you consider the degree to which undecided voters are women and men who love women and have daughters," WBZ political analyst Jon Keller said. "Many of them would be turned off by this as well."

Trump said Saturday he will not quit the race.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.