The Latest: GOP’s Zwick reports calls for new nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign a day before the second presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump (all times EDT):

10:20 a.m.

Republican fundraising chief Spencer Zwick says he’s been fielding calls from donors who “want help putting money together to fund a new person to be the GOP nominee.”

Zwick leads fundraising efforts for House Speaker Paul Ryan, and he did the same for Mitt Romney in 2012. He tells The Associated Press that a write-in campaign relying on social media could “actually work.”

There’s never been a winning write-in campaign in a U.S. presidential contest. Many states do not allow write-in candidates for president, while others require them to register. Early voting is also already underway in several states.

Zwick did not identify which “new person” might be the focus of a write-in campaign. He was briefly supportive of a third run for Romney last year.


9:34 a.m.

The leaders of a pair of advocacy groups are equating Donald Trump’s vulgar comments about women — caught on tape — with sexual assault.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards says in a statement that having a presidential candidate engage in such behavior is “an excuse for harassment from others.”

And here’s what NOW President Terry O’Neill says: “Someone with such disrespect for women, with such a misogynistic lifestyle who boasts about using his power to sexually assault women cannot — and will not — be the leader of this country.”

Trump early Saturday apologized for the 2005 comments. But he also dismissed the revelations as “nothing more than a distraction” from race against Democrat Hillary Clinton.


9 a.m.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse (sas) is joining the list of Republicans calling on Donald Trump to abandon his presidential bid.

Sasse says in a tweet that “character matters” and Trump “is obviously not going to win.”

Sasse says Trump “can still make an honorable move” by stepping aside and letting his running mate — Mike Pence — have a try.

Sasse has been a vocal critic of Trump for months. He joins a handful of Republican officials who have called on Trump quit — including Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman.


2:27 a.m.

In a videotaped midnight apology, Donald Trump is declaring “I was wrong and I apologize” after being caught on tape making vulgar and sexually charged comments.

Yet he’s also dismissing the revelations as “nothing more than a distraction” from a decade ago. And he’s signaling he’d close his campaign by arguing that Democrat Hillary Clinton has committed greater sins against women.

Trump’s videotaped statement capped a jarring day that threatened to sink the businessman’s White House bid and sent Republicans into a panic just over a month from Election Day and on the cusp of Sunday’s debate.

Outraged GOP lawmakers condemned Trump’s comments. Trump is heard in the 2005 video bragging about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.