WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer is back on the Trump train.
In fact, the Nebraska Republican says she never left — despite her call last weekend for Donald Trump to step aside and allow running mate Mike Pence to take his place at the top of the party’s presidential ticket.
“Like most Nebraskans, I am fully committed to defeating Hillary Clinton,” Fischer said Tuesday during an interview on KLIN. “I support the Republican ticket and I plan to vote for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence on Nov. 8.”
Fischer’s call for Trump to step aside came after the release of a 2005 video in which Trump crudely bragged that his celebrity status allowed him to kiss women and grab their genitals at will.
On the radio Tuesday, Fischer reiterated her denunciation of those comments, but noted that she never said she wasn’t going to vote for the man.
“I was disgusted by his comments,” Fischer said. “As a woman and as a Republican, it was very upsetting to hear him make those remarks. But I know that he believes in the policies that I do with regards to regulation and tax reform and that’s what we need. And what we need to do is to defeat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8 so that we can work with an administration that’s going to be supportive of the policies that I certainly support and that most Nebraskans do.”
She said she would not continue to call for Trump to step aside.
“He decided he was not stepping aside,” she said. “I respect his decision.”
Fischer’s fellow Nebraska Republican in the Senate, Ben Sasse, has been a vocal, prominent GOP critic of Trump. He has long said that he never could support Trump for president even as the party’s nominee.
“A presidential candidate who boasts about what he’ll do during his ‘reign’ and refuses to condemn the KKK cannot lead a conservative movement in America,” Sasse wrote earlier this year.
Sasse also was among those calling over the weekend for Trump to step aside, but he went a step further — saying that he plans to cast his presidential vote for Pence.
“Sasse is likely to write in Pence because he wants to see Republican principles beat Hillary Clinton,” Sasse spokesman James Wegmann told The World-Herald.
Fischer was asked about that Pence write-in strategy during Tuesday’s radio interview — and she rejected it.
“We do have a choice here, and it’s a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton,” she said. “If you want your vote to count, you will vote for one or the other.”
She said Trump would make better appointments to the Supreme Court and do a better job of protecting the rights of gun owners.
“It’s important for all of us, when it comes down to it, to make that tough choice,” Fischer said. “To me, it’s not a tough choice because I know where the Republican ticket is on these issues.”
In a separate interview Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., also told the radio station that he still plans to vote for Trump despite also having called for him to step aside over the weekend.
Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both Iowa Republicans, have publicly condemned Trump’s remarks but said they still plan to vote for him.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has said he will stick with Trump and criticized fellow Republicans who have turned their backs on their nominee.
Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, has criticized Trump’s remarks but it’s not clear whether he still plans to vote for him.