Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's recently revealed comments about women may have started a firestorm of controversy elsewhere.
But here in Acadiana, many Republican women are unfazed by the brash businessman's admissions that he tried to have sex with a married woman and that, as a celebrity, he could get away with groping females by their private parts.
Trump's statements revealed on tape in 2005 outraged people, including many Republicans. Some local Republicans however, said not only have they heard much worse, but when it comes to character and trustworthiness, they believe Trump is nowhere near as dangerous to the country as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
"There is a double standard here," said Donna Peltier, past president of the Acadiana Republican Women. "I'm not offended. The same women who say they are offended are the very ones who went out and bought 800,000 copies of '50 Shades of Grey', which is total trash. If they put what Trump had to say to a rap song, it would sell like gangbusters. Everybody would be out buying it. I'm more offended by the double standard."
While many Republican leaders were reportedly abandoning the party's standard bearer, local support remained steady. Some Republican women were as convinced as ever that he would be a strong president, even though they disagreed with his comments.
"I won't defend or condone what Trump said," added Carol Ross, a former Republican candidate for the Lafayette City-Parish Council. "But we have a First Amendment and that exactly what the First Amendment is for. It's not for pretty speech or speech we agree with, it's for all speech. And, whether we like it or not, it's pervasive in our culture. There is a lot of hypocrisy to go around.
"Donald Trump hasn't said anything that hasn't been said in a locker room. When I look at the alternative, at least have a shot at cleaning out Washington. And, we don't have that shot with Hillary Clinton."
Patti Carter was a Trump delegate at the Republican convention. Carter defended Trump's comments, which included a recorded conversation with Access Hollywood's Billy Bush. In the recording, Trump is heard discussing how he "moved in on a married woman like a b****," but "couldn't get there."
Carter said the fact that the incident took place 11 years ago made a difference to her.
"They are trying to judge the man just by one segment of his personality," Carter said. "At that time, he wasn't grooming himself to be president. He was just a normal man in the community like our husbands, our brothers are, this is nothing we haven't heard from any of them. Women sometimes say things worse than that. But that's not his focus. His focus is the United States. He really, truly is a patriot."
In fact, it has been widely reported that Trump considered a run for president as far back as the late 1980s. Trump formed a presidential campaign in 2000 for the nomination of the Reform Party and announced the creation of a presidential exploratory committee on Larry King Live in 1999. That segment can be seen on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peBa3SU46Qs. He previously considered a presidential run in 1988 as a Republican but chose not to run.
Others found a bit of humor in the situation, pointing out that most of the strongest public reaction had come from Republican men and not women themselves.
"As a woman, I just want to make sure to thank the mainstream media for letting me know what every 'important' white male over 50 had to say about this," said Denice Skinner, Republican Party Executive Committee representative, "and gave them the platform to explain to me how I should feel about male trash talk all weekend long."
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