You probably saw this headline and thought this is just typical partisan rhetoric, that each political party says their opponents are not qualified for office. But in the case of Republican Rob Portman, who is in a tight race with former Ohio governor Ted Strickland for the U.S. Senate race, his response to the release of the audio tape where Donald Trump brags about sexually assaulting women (which, by the way, is a crime, not locker-room talk) was simultaneously so pathetic and illegitimate, that he truly disqualified himself from the race.
Below is the statement he released on Saturday, Oct. 8 (it took him nearly 24 hours to decide to distance himself from Trump):
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Portman for Senate campaign released the following statement from Senator Rob Portman regarding the race for President:
From Rob Portman: “As I said yesterday, Donald Trump’s comments were offensive and wrong. I had hoped to support the candidate my party nominated in the primary process. I thought it was appropriate to respect the millions of voters across the country who chose Donald Trump as the Republican Party nominee. While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him. I continue to believe our country cannot afford a Hillary Clinton presidency. I will be voting for Mike Pence for President.”
First of all, the fact that it took Portman this long to drop his support for Trump shows that he’s a craven politician with no moral compass. The fact that Trump has been insulting literally every group in America (women, African-Americans, Mexicans, immigrants, disabled, veterans, etc.) for over a year shows that Portman has no moral baseline whatsoever. The only reason this time is different is because Portman knows that this tape would sink Trump’s poll numbers and virtually guarantee a loss to Hillary Clinton. In other words, Portman didn’t drop his support of Trump because of what he said in the audio tape, he’s dropping his support because he knows Trump now hurts his chances of getting re-elected.
But that isn’t the most disqualifying part of his statement. In his last sentence, he said he will be “voting for Mike Pence for President.” Well, that’s simply impossible. As Portman should know, being a senator from Ohio, the President and Vice President are paired TOGETHER on the ballot in Ohio. You can’t vote for either separately. Second, the deadline to be removed from the ballot in Ohio has long since passed, so no alteration to the ballot can be made, which also makes it impossible to vote for Pence without voting for Trump. Thirdly, Pence isn’t running for President, so how can you vote for him? Finally, if Portman plans on writing in Pence’s name, that vote won’t count either. In order for a write-in vote to count, it has to be for a candidate who filed a declaration to be a write-in candidate with the Secretary of State’s office, and that deadline has long since passed as well.
So a sitting U.S. Senator doesn’t even know basic rules about the voting process, yet he wants to be one of 100 members of the legislative branch of the United States government? Are you kidding me?