WASHINGTON — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is voting for Donald Trump. But, he says, that doesn’t mean he’s endorsing him.
“What is the difference? If you tell your supporters in Utah, ‘I’m voting for Donald Trump,’ that sounds to me like an endorsement,” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked the Republican Thursday.
“I think they’re different,” maintained Chaffetz. “I think the endorsement is far different than who you actually vote for. And it’s the one vote I actually do for myself. I don’t represent anybody else. We all get the same vote. But in the context of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, it’s Donald Trump.”
Soon after the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape leaked last month showing Trump bragging about being able to grope women, Chaffetz told CNN’s Don Lemon that he wouldn’t be able to look in his daughter’s eye if he voted for Trump.
“I’m out. I can no longer endorse Donald Trump for president. There’s no possible way I vote for Hillary Clinton. But, these are abhorrent. They are wrong … And, you know, my wife, Julie and I, we’ve got a 15-year-old daughter. Do you think I can look her in the eye and tell her that I endorse Donald Trump for president when he acts like this in his apology?” Chaffetz said at the time.
In that October 7 interview, he continued: “I’m not going to put my good name and reputation, and my family, behind Donald Trump for president when he acts like this. I just can’t do it.”
But the congressman has since changed his tune, and announced on Twitter last week that he would pull the lever for his party’s standard-bearer, saying Clinton is “bad for the USA.”
Speaking to Blitzer on Thursday, Chaffetz added that Clinton “is so bad, and so wrong for the United States of America. I think her ability to look into the camera and just lie, lie, lie scares me more than anything.”
Blitzer asked Chaffetz why he can suddenly now look at his wife and daughter in the eye and vote for Trump after hearing the tape.
“I will never support, condone, defend anybody’s actions whether they’re words or actual actions to defame or to demoralize or take advantage of women in any shape or form. I want my daughters to understand that, I want America to understand that,” Chaffetz said. “But at the end of the day, you still have to make a choice.”
Did Chaffetz consider voting for Evan McMullin, a third-party candidate who has mounted a serious third-party bid in Utah?
“No,” Chaffetz said. “That’s a fast track to nowhere.”