The panel discussions began with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s surrogate Andre Bauer. While Bauer has a knack for sticking his foot in his mouth, it was former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) that was crushed on Friday night’s episode of “AC360.”
“I’ve heard lots of guys in leadership positions say things I didn’t think were appropriate,” Bauer claimed. “That didn’t mean, I didn’t think they weren’t still in a great situation to still be a great leader.”
Jonathan Tasini was shocked. “You have heard people talk about sexual assault, a crime?” he asked.
“I’ve heard people talk exactly like he talked,” Bauer tried to explain. “In other words talking about—”
“An act of sexual assault. Is that right?” Tasini asked, to clarify.
“I’ve never heard guys talk that way, I’m sorry,” Tasini said. “I think we’re mistaking something. We’re talking about these but there is a long history of Donald Trump’s behavior towards women. And the fact that eleven women, so far, and this is just the beginning, have come out and talked about being assaulted by Donald Trump, he’s a criminal. He has executed a crime against women. And we can’t sort of brush that over. it is not, as you point out, this issue about what’s happening in locker rooms. We are 25 days away from an election. And we’re deciding about whether to elect a man who has committed a crime. But — multiple crimes.”
Rep. Kingston got smacked down by Tasini, as well, for describing the scandal as nothing more than “offensive language” from Trump.
“Just so we’re clear about terminology, some Republicans keep using the words ‘offensive language,'” Tasini began. “Saying ‘I’m going to grab your p*ssy’ is sexual assault. It is not just offensive language. So, I think we have to get the term. I said before, I believe he committed these acts. Eleven women have come forward. I believe that is just the beginning. I believe he did commit those crimes. But saying — I don’t know why you don’t see this. It is not just offensive language. He is talking about a sexual crime.”
Kingston tried to claim it was nothing more than “locker room banter,” a claim often made by Trump surrogates.
“He wasn’t in a locker room he was in a place of work!” former Ted Cruz staffer Amanda Carpenter shouted.
Tasini agreed. “First, there have been a whole series of athletes, who in the last week, have come forward and said publicly that is not the way we talk in the locker room … they do not talk that way. And Jack I want to say again, this is not just sort of flippant conversation. We are talking about someone who is talking about sexual assault.”
“Jonathan, I would have to say to you, very respectfully, there was no deliberate ‘let’s go out and assault somebody,'” Kingston said, excusing Trump’s words. “It was locker room banter.”
Carpenter was having none of it. “It was not locker room talk. He was in a place of work. That is a professional setting for Mr. Trump. He was speaking to a member of the media on a mic, miced-up, talking about a woman they work with. Stop with the ‘locker room talk!’ He was doing this as the professional man in a professional setting.”
Kingston again disagreed, but claimed he was doing so respectfully.
Carpenter didn’t believe him. “I don’t think you are respecting anybody if you think this is talk that women should be subjected to,” she replied.
Also, worth noting, at one point, Carpenter remarked that the Republican Party is killing itself, long-term, with female voters.