-- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' ON October 9, 2016 and it will be updated.
Over the edge.
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am.
TRUMP: I did try and (EXPLETIVE DELETED) her. She was married. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything.
ANNOUNCER: Top Republicans calling on Trump to quit the race. Will the GOP abandon its own nominee?
And playing the blame game.
ANNOUNCER: How will Clinton respond on the debate stage? DNC chair Donna Brazile is here.
And just 30 days to go, a critical debate only hours away. The Oval Office hanging in the balance.
From ABC News, it's This Week. Here now chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: So, it turns out October is full of surprises. Just 30 days before the final votes, hours away from tonight's debate this surpassingly unusual campaign is in uncharted waters again.
In the last 48 hours, something we've never seen before, dozens of elected officials -- senators, governors, members of congress -- all abandoning their party's nominee. The exodus is unprecedented. And it all began late Friday afternoon when The Washington Post unearthed this disturbing video. Donald Trump and broadcaster Billy Bush on the set of Days of our Lives the summer of 2005.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I moved on her and I failed. I'll admit it.
BILLY BUSH, HOST, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD: Oh.
TRUMP: I did try and (EXPLETIVE DELETED) her. She was married.
I will use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them, it's like a magnet. Just kiss.
And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You can do anything.
Hello. How are you? Hi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, how are you?
TRUMP: Nice seeing you. Terrific.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice to meet you.
BUSH: How about a little hug for the Donald. He just got off the bus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you like a little hug, darling.
TRUMP: Melania said this was OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: A written statement from Trump apologizing if anyone was offended only fueled the firestorm. So midnight Friday, under pressure from his top advisers and running mate Trump posted this on Facebook.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it. I was wrong. And I apologize.
I've said some foolish things, but there's a big difference between the words and actions ofother people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VP nominee Mike Pence refused to appear at that rally to defend Trump. And something else we have never seen before: a nominee rebuked by his own running mate.
As a husband and father, he said, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video release yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them.
The Washington Post, "I'd never withdraw. I've never withdrawn in my life."
The New York Times, "I am in this until the end."
By early Saturday evening after watching the crowd's gather on cable TV, Trump went downstairs for a fix from his fans.
We are covering all the angles of this breaking story this morning. And let's begin at the debate hall in Saint Louis with Jon Karl.
And Jon this is described by top Republicans as the worst crisis for the party since Watergate.
A lot of the top Republican leaders, including party chairman Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell the Senate leader, have not fully gone out and said that they no longer support Trump, but a disastrous performance in this debate or a performance that does not put these doubts to rest will lead to many more, including I believe some of the leaders to flee Trump as well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, they want to see a full-throated apology from Trump tonight, no excuses at all.
A lot of pressure on Mike Pence as well. And there is even a move among some Republicans to try to convince Pence if Trump doesn't go all the way with that apologize tonight, to temporarily resign from the tick force Trump's hand.
KARL: Yeah, the argument there is that Pence is the anchor that is keeping Trump in the race, that if Pence were to make a big statement by dropping out of the race, leaving the ticket, that it wouldput incredible pressure on Trump to get out of the race.
There's no indication that Pence will do that, but George, I'll tell you, if this does not go well tonight in this debate, I would not rule out the possibility that Mike Pence would do just that, that he would leave the ticket.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Jon, as a practical matter it's really impossible for the RNC to replace Donald Trump at this point. He has to step aside. And even if he steps aside, it's just going to create a mess on state ballot after state ballot after state ballot.
KARL: George, I've been looking at this, there are now a dozen states where voting has already started, where people have already started casting their ballots. There are several other states where absentee ballots have already been sent out, ballots that have Donald Trump's name in the Republican slot.
It would be a disaster. It would be a logistical mess. And by the way, the Clinton campaign would object. The voting has already started. They would not allow a last minute switch. In fact, you may see a situation where the two people that are absolutely insisting that Donald Trump has to stay in the race and on the ballot are one, Donald Trump and the other, Hillary Clinton.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Jon, thanks. We'll see you tonight.
I want to go to Tom Llamas. Now, you've been covering the Trump campaign from the start. You were at Trump Tower yesterday. Take us inside that suite.
TOM LLAMAS, ABC NEWS: Yeah, we know from sources they describe a dire feeling from Friday into Saturday. Trump, as we saw in that video, was huddled with his tight aides along with Chris Christie, Rudolf Giuliani and even Don Jr., his son. And basically Trump Tower turned into a war room. They were supposed to do debate prep, but this was all damage control.
And then there, Donald Trump was watching cable news. He sees these supporters outside and he says, you know what, I need a pick me up. He goes outside, raises his fist in defiance. And what that shows is that Donald Trump is still making all the decisions right now in this campaign and the counter-offensive has already started.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We really don't know what's going to happen tonight at the debate. He had signaled earlier in the week that he wasn't going to go after Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton on the past infidelities. Back on the table?
LLAMAS: Yeah, and there was a divide in the campaign. Some advisers did not want him to go there, others did. And now this is going to happen at the debate. He has mentioned Bill Clinton in his statement, in his video statement and he's been retweeting all weekend.
For me, there is no doubt this is coming up in the debate.
STEPHANOPUOLOS: How about Trump's mood through all this. You talk about the defiance, but I've also heard from others that he was kind of rocked by all this Friday.
LLAMAS: It is true. At first, from some of the reporting we have gotten from inside, he didn't think this was going to be as big of a scandal as it turned out to be. He was pitching his whole story of I'm the comeback kid before this video was released, go into the second debate. But then yesterday, he told The New York Times, shook his fist. He's trying to tell his voters he's not going to give up. A lot is riding on tonight's debate, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, let's go to Cecilia Vega in the spin room down in St. Louis as well.
And I know, Cecilia, there had been some debate inside the Clinton camp whether she should come out and say something yesterday. They decided to get out of the way.
CECILIA VEGA, ABC NEWS: Yeah. And that's a very strategic move, George. We have not yet heard from Hillary Clinton herself on this front. Her campaign has tweeted. They called Donald Trump's words horrific. They put out a fundraising email on this topic. I've got to tell you, it was jarring to see these lews comments in full display in a fundraising email, but nothing from Hillary Clinton herself, even her surrogates have been told to tone it down, to not go full bore on these attacks. Because look it, they are waiting for tonight, for Hillary Clinton to take that stage face to face with Donald Trump. That is the first time we will actually hear from her on this topic.
And I've got to tell you, George, it's probably not just going to be this one. It might seem like a lifetime ago that this tax controversy was in the headlines. Just a few days ago, remember that allegations that he hasn't paid taxes in nearly two decades. You can bet she's going to hit hard on that one.
The strategy inside the Clinton campaign really seems to be sit back, relax, watch this play out, and hit hard tonight on that stage.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And as they watch all these Republicans calling on Trump to step aside, even though that might make him a little bit gleeful, it's also their worst nightmare.
VEGA: Yeah. It certainly is.
I mean, you and Jon were just talking about it, the last thing the Clinton campaign wants is for a new opponent to be on this ticket in just 29 days to go. They have had conversations with their lawyers. They say they do not expect to be running against anyone other than Donald Trump, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks, Cecilia. We're joined now by the former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani. Now, a top adviser to Donald Trump. Mr. Mayor, thanks for joining us again this morning.
Let me just begin. As a father, what was your reaction when you saw that tape?
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NYC: My reaction was the same I'm sure as everyone else's. It's horrible, it's reprehensible. You wish it never happened, never was said. And I think Donald Trump has expressed that very, very clearly, that he's ashamed of himself and he's embarrassed by what he -- after all, he's the -- he's the father of two daughters and I think he has three -- he has eight grandchildren and I think three of them are girls.
And he certainly wouldn't want them to hear that or see that and some of them have now. So he's very, very embarrassed and contrite about it and feels that it was the wrong thing to do.
But you know, that was then and this is now. And he's gone through 14 months of running for president. And, as you know, running for president does something to you. It changes a lot of the way you look at things, it changes a lot of the way in which you behave.
And it puts a heavy responsibility on your shoulder -- in this case, for roughly half the American people, who believe that he's the one who can change America and his opponent is the person who will keep it the same or make it worse.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say that it's embarrassing to watch. But the problem isn't just the words. As both Senator McCain and Vice President Biden pointed out, what Trump is describing in that tape is sexual assault.
GIULIANI: That's what he's talking about. You know, whether it happened or not, I don't know. And how much exaggeration was involved in that, I don't know. I do know there's a tendency on the part of some men at different times to exaggerate things like this. And I'm not in any way trying to excuse it or condone it.
There is no excuse or answer for it, other than I'm very sorry and I wish I hadn't done it and I'm not like that anymore. And then it sort of goes back to my faith, I guess. You know, you confess your sins and you make a firm resolution not to commit that sin again.
And then the priest gives you absolution and then, hopefully, you're a changed person. We believe that people in this country can change.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You talk about the -- you talk about the change.
But let me just stop you right there because I think what a lot of people -- for a lot of people, when they saw the tape, it confirmed other things they had been seeing in the campaign after the last debate, the way he talked about Alicia Machado, the way he talked about Megyn Kelly in that first debate going back a year ago.
GIULIANI: Yes, that was far different than this. I mean, that was the kind of language that goes on in campaigns and the kind of things that goes on in campaigns. Alicia Machado was used kind of as a prop at the very end of the debate. Even "Saturday Night Live" made fun of it, you know. They had the debate over and then Hillary sort of interrupted and said, oh, I have to mention Alicia Machado. And there's a whole two sides to that story that I don't want to particularly get into.
That's far different than what you heard on that tape of 10 or 12 years ago. And he is very embarrassed by it. I have to tell you that. But he also realizes that there's an election in 35 days and that election is going to determine whether we have higher taxes or lower taxes. It's going to determine how we deal with this rise in crime.
Last year we had the largest rise in murder in 41 years. I mean that's astounding. And over the last 10 months, George, we have had more Islamic terrorist attacks than any time since September 11th. They're becoming now almost monthly events in major cities.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The question is will he be able to make that case?
And can you assure Republicans that another shoe won't drop, that there aren't more damaging tapes out there?
GIULIANI: I can't -- I don't think anyone can assure anyone about anything in this election. I can't assure you there aren't other things that'll happen on our side or their side. That's just the reality of it.
I mean, if this hadn't happened, the whole story you would be asking me about is the WikiLeaks and the fact that Hillary Clinton makes it clear to the bankers that she says one thing to them, which is she's on their side and she's with them and they're paying her a lot of money but then she's got to say something else, you know, publicly.
Had that come out during the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders would now be the candidate but she successfully --
STEPHANOPOULOS: You may be right about that. And I'm going to ask Donna Brazile about that when she comes on.
But how about all those Republicans yesterday abandoning Donald Trump, including Senator Mike Lee?
Now Donald Trump said that Senator Mike Lee is on his short list for the Supreme Court. Here's what the senator said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MIKE LEE (R): If anyone spoke to my wife or my daughter or my mother or any of my five sisters the way Mr. Trump has spoken to women, I wouldn't hire that person. I wouldn't hire that person, wouldn't want to be associated with that person. And I certainly don't think I would feel comfortable hiring that person to be the leader of the free world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you say to Senator Lee and all those Republicans who abandoned the ticket yesterday?
GIULIANI: Well, you know, I understand why they're shocked and I understand why they're upset.
But, you know, I also think there's certain political calculation involved in some of that. Some pretty terrible things have come out about Hillary Clinton with regard to the e-mails and being extremely careless in the handling of national security information. I could make the case that Hillary Clinton couldn't pass a FBI background check given --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, but that's not what those Republicans are worried about right now.
GIULIANI: No, but the Democrats all stick together and they're all sticking with a candidate who looks like she violated a whole bunch of federal laws. So he said some very bad things 10 or 12 years ago. He's apologized for it. And it seems to me we should move on.
And the reality is, to some extent, he who hasn’t sinned should cast the first stone and maybe a lot of them haven't, I don't know.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The big test is going to be tonight.
GIULIANI: -- lot of perfect people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The big test is going to be tonight. You've got Senator McConnell, Speaker Ryan signaling that they're really going to be watching what Donald Trump is saying tonight. Even vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, we're hearing the same thing.
And then if they don't hear a full-throated apology, they might go the way of these other Republicans who've abandoned the ticket.
GIULIANI: Well, you know, I think Donald Trump understands that tonight is -- was always going to be very important and the stakes have gotten a lot higher as a result of these revelations. But I think he'll be up to it and I think he'll be able to -- hopefully will be able to get beyond his problems and her problems with WikiLeaks and a lot more I could talk about.
And we can start talking about -- I would like to know, you know, the two of them, who is going to take more money out of my pocket or who is going to leave more money in my pocket, who is -- who is going to be better able to handle radical Islamic terrorism, the one who has and had us in the condition we're in or somebody new who's going to have a different approach.
I mean, those are the things that I want to hear. And particularly, given my background, I want to know who is going to have the better approach to stop this wave of crime that, all of a sudden, in the last year, year and a half has gotten out of control.
I mean, to have murder go up the largest percentage last year in 41 years and nobody being alarmed about that is a terrible mistake. Somebody better be alarmed about that and doing something about it. And I think he will and she won't.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Before this tape broke on Friday, Mr. Trump had signaled that he wasn't going to go after Bill Clinton's infidelities during the debate. But yesterday he started to tweet about that again.
Should we expect that kind of attack tonight?
GIULIANI: That depends on how the debate goes. I don't know. I mean, I don't know how they're going to spend -- how much time they're going to spend on these personal things and how much time they're going to spend on the issues that are involved -- of which there are many, you know, trade and what to do about Syria and what to do about Iraq and what to do about Iran and what we're going to do about crime and what we're going to do about radical Islamic terrorism, what are we going to do about cyber security, which is to me a passion. ]I believe that cyber security -- and I have for 13 years -- is something we're ignoring in this country. And it is actually the largest growing form of crime and it's the biggest threat to our national security.
These are the things I think the American people would like to hear and then I think they could make a judgment as to which one they want to lead the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, on that point --
GIULIANI: Both of them are flawed -- both of them are flawed individuals. We know that. And the question is, let's get down to issues now and maybe we shouldn't be talking about it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let met pick up on that cyber security point you just made because on Friday, the administration came out and said definitively that Russia was behind that DNC hack. Mr. Trump had questioned that before.
Does he now accept that finding?
GIULIANI: I don't know. I don't know. I haven't seen -- I haven't seen the report. I haven't seen the background of it. Happens to be an area in which I kind of fancy myself an expert. I've been doing it for 13 years. And my company does it all over the world.
I would have to read the report to give you my own -- my own opinion on that. But the reality is, all it shows is, if it isn't the Russians, it can be 20 others. The Russians have the same capacity that the Chinese have, that the Iranians have.
Here's the scariest part, that a lot of the radical Islamic terrorists now have, Al Qaeda didn't have this capacity. This new Islamic extremist threat that we're facing in 28 countries, 1,000 cases in the United States. These are people who are computer savvy and we're facing more danger from them than we faced even on and before September 11th.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mike Pence, you know, there's a report this morning that Ben Weber (ph) is trying to encourage him to temporarily step down from the ticket as a way to force Mr. Trump's hand to step aside as the nominee.
Have you talked to the vice presidential candidate about that?
Do you think there's any chance it's going to happen?
GIULIANI: I'm not aware of that. I haven't -- I haven't -- I haven't heard that. I believe that Donald Trump is going to show up tonight and he's going to explain to people why he's remaining in the race. And I'm sure he's going to apologize again.
And then move on to the things that the American people are going to have to decide in -- what is it, 34 days, 35 days about the future of our American.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Any chance he drops out before then?
GIULIANI: Pardon me?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Any chance he drops out before then?
Any chance Mr. Trump --
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- drops out before then?
GIULIANI: I believe he was very definitive about the fact that he is not going to drop out. He's got the most votes of any candidate that was a Republican ever in the history of the party. He's got ardent supporters who believe in him and who probably, you know, are more like most of the rest of us, which are -- is forgiving and understanding.
And it is true that we have two flawed candidates. But you know something? I was taught in my religion that we are all flawed and we all have to ask for forgiveness a lot in our lives, and I sure have.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Mayor, thanks for joining us this morning.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are joined now by one of the members of Congress trying to get Trump off the ticket right now, Congressman Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania, the chair of the House Ethics Committee.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for joining us this morning. You just heard Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump is not going anywhere.
REP. CHARLES DENT (R-PA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE: Well, George, first, thanks for having me on the program.
Look, we cannot defend the indefensible. We all have to condemn these comments in the strongest possible terms. But nobody should be surprised by what has happened here.
We have been listening to these incendiary and inflammatory comments for over a year now. From diminishing John McCain's service as a POW to mocking the disabled to the ethnic smears against Mexicans and Muslims, the David Duke debacle, the Indiana judge, the Khan family, Miss Universe and her weight, and now this.
Look, will Donald Trump withdraw from the race? No. Should he? Yes. So I feel that we have to do something here. We have a Republican Party. We have to look out for what's in the best interest of the Republican Party, the whole party. We have congressional majorities at stake that have to be protected. And let's get to do what we must.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you have called on the GOP chair, Reince Priebus, to take the lead on this. You know, he was supposed to be on the show this morning, backed away, said he couldn't come on to defend Donald Trump on this particular issue. But are you getting any signal from him or his team that he's prepared to take more aggressive action to get Donald Trump off the ticket?
DENT: Well, I think they took a positive step yesterday, if the reports are true, that they're going to redirect resources away from the presidential race toward the congressional majorities. That's a good thing.
But, again, as a party leader I think at times you have to stand up and do some pretty difficult things and this may be one of them right now. And the chairman, you really must stand up and do what's in the best interest of the entire party.
We have congressional majorities at stake. I'm a member of the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
But, you know, this isn't just about the party, it's about the country. I'm disturbed not just by all these incendiary comments, but also the policy issues from Russia to NATO comments and on it goes.
We just -- it's hard to discuss policy in this election when we're debating the weight of Miss Universe or now the Billy Bush video. It's very frustrating to many of my colleagues, and I think we have to step up and do what we must to protect...
STEPHANOPOULOS: You talk about your colleagues right there. You know, the speaker of the house, Paul Ryan, said he was sickened by the video but he is still saying he supports Donald Trump, or at least he has not said he's not going to support Donald Trump.
I know he's having a conference call with you and all of your colleagues tomorrow. Do you think you can convince him to abandon the ticket?
DENT: Well, look, I'm a great admirer of Speaker Ryan and he's in a different position than I am as the titular head of the Republican Party. But I think if many of my colleagues who are not elected members of the leadership stand up and do what I have done, and many of my other colleagues have done -- and by the way, I distanced myself from the nominee long before.
I hadn't endorsed him even before this video. So I've been out on the record. But I think as more and more of my colleagues step up I think that will put a lot of pressure on the Republican leaders to follow their members who are moving very quickly.
And, again, I just -- I'm just deeply concerned about the country. I'm absolutely opposed to Hillary Clinton in this election. Don't misunderstand me. I think she's disqualified based on the way she mishandled negligently and carelessly classified material.
But that's not the issue at the moment. The issue for us is, how are we going to get our house in order? We only have 30 days left. You know, we can talk about other candidates, people like Bob Gates, Condoleezza Rice, Governor Kasich, who I strongly supported for president, did I mention Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, former governor, all impeccable people who could actually win this race in 30 days whether or not...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Who are you going to vote for?
DENT: … logistically this could happen, I don't know. What's that? Oh, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I'll have the opportunity to write someone in. But I just mentioned four people who I would strongly consider right there.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman, thanks for joining us this morning.
DENT: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We have heard from the GOP, Democratic Chair Donna Brazile and our powerhouse "Roundtable" coming up.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is the debate hall in Washington University, St. Louis, 9:00 p.m. tonight, 9 Eastern tonight the candidates are going to face off. It promises to be rollicking. We're going to talk about Hillary's strategy with DNC Chair Donna Brazile, next.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are back now with the chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile.
Donna, thank you for coming in this morning. You heard Rudy Giuliani right there. He said that Donald Trump isn't going anywhere, he's staying in the race, and that he's a changed man.
DONNA BRAZILE, CHAIR, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Ha! Well, look, George, you can draw a straight line between what Donald Trump said in 2005 and what he has been saying every day on the campaign trail over the last year-and-a-half. This is not a changed man. This is who Donald Trump truly is.
When you criticize a judge simply because of his Mexican heritage, when you call women some of the most disgusting things, when you criticize John McCain, criticize people who are disabled, this is who Donald Trump truly is.
I'm surprised that the Republicans are disgusted about Donald Trump after all of the things that he has said and all of the comments -- the comments that he made over the last couple of years.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, they are running away from him right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But -- and Donald Trump including -- just minutes ago, is Tweeting again, Juanita Broderick, a woman who claims...
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- that she was raped by Bill Clinton, signaling perhaps this is going to come up tonight.
BRAZILE: Donald Trump has been threatening, as you well know, for -- for weeks that he is going to bring up President -- former President Clinton's affairs.
Look, at the time, as you well know, George, Secretary Clinton suffered. Chelsea Clinton suffered. And President Clinton was impeached. He was held accountable.
There is no accountability for Donald Trump in the -- in the ridiculous and sexist things that he has said and racist things that he has said over the past few years.
So I'm -- I'm not surprised that Donald Trump is -- is going to try to change the subject.
But, you know, tonight's debate is designed for voters to hear from the candidates, hear real positive solutions. And that's what Secretary Clinton is prepared to do tonight -- talk to voters. She's not going to, you know, get into the -- what I call the fifth that Donald Trump seems to drum up every time he gets in trouble.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But she's going to address this video tonight.
BRAZILE: Well, I hope so. I mean I hope that she has an opportunity to -- to call this sexual assault, to say that this is sexual predatory language, this was not locker room banter. And I hope she has an opportunity to -- to talk about her policies for women, and her policies for the country, as well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you see all of these Republicans over the course of the week have been calling on -- on Donald Trump to step aside.
You don't want that, do you?
BRAZILE: It would be political suicide for Donald Trump to -- to step down right now. But that being said, when you have the chairman of the party, who normally would like to sit next to me decide not to show up, that's a -- that's a signal that this party is uncomfortable with the top of their ticket.
We're not uncomfortable. We're out there every day, the Democratic Party. We have a robust operation. We're supporting Democrats from the top of the ticket all the way down to the poor house. We're very satisfied with the ground game that we're going to have, because we have a strong candidate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But aren't you worried that if Mike Pence steps in or some other Republican steps in, with Secretary Clinton's high unfavorables, this could be a much closer race?
BRAZILE: George, as you well know, people are voting in over a dozen states. Absentee ballots are being mailed out. Mike Pence can step in all he wants, but the problem is how do you -- how do you start to tell voters in 30 days that they can't vote for the person whose name might appear on the ballot but they have to vote for someone -- it's -- it would be very confusing.
All I'm telling voters is that go ahead and support Hillary Clinton, support the Democrats, because if you really want to continue the progress we've made on jobs and -- and keeping the country safe and prosperous, that's Clinton-Kaine.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Will the Democratic Party oppose efforts in the states, if it comes to that, to change the names on the ballot?
BRAZILE: I'm sure my legal team is already looking at efforts underway, if there are any efforts underway. But right now, we are focused on keeping, as we say, encouraging people to vote early to get out there and to continue voter registration and to turn out on election day.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You also heard Rudy Giuliani say something that I take is true, had this story not broken on Friday afternoon, today we'd be spending a lot of time on those emails that were released on Friday. John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign, emails talking about those speeches she gave to private groups back before she started to run for president, including one where she talked about -- this was one excerpt of a speech.
"My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders some time in the future, with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the homeland. Open trade and open borders. This is the kind of thing that, had this come out, as he pointed out, Mr. Giuliani pointed out, is to have this come out during the primaries with Bernie Sanders, this would have been devastating to Hillary.
BRAZILE: You know, I was with Bernie the other day when -- when some of this WikiLeaks stuff came out. And Bernie Sanders went out there to tell voters in New Hampshire that he is -- he's with Hillary Clinton and Secretary Clinton -- second -- I mean Senator Tim Kaine.
George, when you see something postmarked from Russia, you should be afraid to open up the document.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But these are legit, aren't they?
BRAZILE: When you see what -- I don't know. I -- I refuse to open these documents. I refuse to allow a foreign government, a foreign -- or fg communities -- to interfere and meddle and manipulate information. So I don't know if it's true or not true.
But I could tell you what she's been saying in public about trade, what she's been saying in public about Wall Street, what she has been saying in public about immigration reform.
I have no idea if these documents -- they have been, as you know, selectively leaking and manipulating documents.
Postmark, the United States government finally acknowledged that these -- that the Democratic Party, Democratic institutions have been hacked and I don't trust any -- anything that (INAUDIBLE).
STEPHANOPOULOS: So I mean you don't -- you don't believe these are actually the excerpts of the speeches?
BRAZILE: Let me just say something, George. As you -- as you well know, the reason why Secretary Clinton's speeches became a topic in the primary is because she released her taxes, where, I mean Donald Trump has not released his taxes.
So I -- I believe that that information may -- I don't know, George. I refuse to open them. And I've -- I've asked the staff at the DNC and all of our democratic allies, don't open up that crap, because it's postmarked from Russia.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We saw -- we've seen these reports now that the Republican National Committee moving -- moving money away from Donald Trump...
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- toward their Senate and House candidates.
If Mr. Trump remains on the ticket, do you believe that the -- not only the Senate, but the House is in play for Democrats?
BRAZILE: I think so, George. And I think we have -- we have a great opportunity, the Democratic Party, in winning back statehouses across the country. We're targeting statehouses across the country. Our -- our Congressional candidates, our red to blue program is a very good program. I see results of it already across the country in Nevada and Colorado.
So yes, I am -- I'm convinced that we have an opportunity to put the House in play, as well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donna Brazile, thanks for joining us this morning.
BRAZILE: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The Powerhouse Roundtable ready to weigh in live when we come back.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The big question on the table this morning, is this the breaking point for Donald Trump?
We did a flash poll with our partners at SSRS on the impact of that leaked tape. Fifty-three percent of those who watched it said it would make them less likely to vote for Trump, 46 percent said it makes no difference, 62 percent of women said it would affect their support, 55 percent of men said no difference and 43 percent of those surveyed said he should withdraw as nominee.
And even before the tape leaked on Friday, Americans were fed up. We asked for the one word that best describes the 2016 presidential campaign. The top response is disgusted, disappointed and scared.
Our Powerhouse Roundtable is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX BALDWIN, ACTOR: I would like to take this time to formally applegize (ph)...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? What are you saying?
BALDWIN: I deeply applegize (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you trying to saying apologize?
BALDWIN: No, I would never do that. What I am doing is applegizing (ph) to all the people who were offended by my statements.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: You knew Saturday Night Live would be all over that last night.
Time to talk about this all on our roundtable now joined by our political analyst Matthew Dowd, conservative strategist Mary Matlin, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison from Minnesota, and Democratic strategist and former deputy campaign manager for President Obama Stephanie Cutter.
Thanks to you for joining us. I was doing a quick calculation during the break, we probably have about 200 years political campaign experience at this table right now.
And Matt Dowd I think it is very, very safe to say we have never seen anything like this weekend.
MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: No. This is Hurricane Donald this weekend as a category 5 when you look at this.
And I think we're going to look at the aftermath o this. I was thinking about the effect that this could could have. To me this is akin to Tiger Woods in the Escalade hitting the fire hydrant in 2009. And ever since that, point his career was basically careened...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you talking about Trump or the party?
DOWD: I'm talking about Trump. Oh, I think the party is already is in disarray. The party, that has been the case for -- baked in the cake for the last year. They're going to have to figure out in the aftermath where they go from here.
I think Donald Trump, both his political career and I think in many ways the debate tonight is his financial career is on the line. His brand is seriously damaged.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mary Matlin, what can he do?
MARY MATLIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, he can do more of what he's been doing. But I disagree with that. And I would say something similar that we have seen in our 200 years is New Hampshire, 1992, Monica Lewinsky in the White House.
So here we have -- this is a difference between the parties. We have a Democrat who acts withhis intern in the White House and the party rallies around him. We have a Republican nominee whohas a private conversation about sex he's not getting and the party abandons him.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But that's what I'm talking about. What's unprecedented here is not just the tape it's the reaction over the last 48 hours.
MATLIN: Well, it says something about the party. It says something good about the party. It says something that is aggravating to conservatives out there of how the party does not stick with their nominee. He wasn't my first, second or 16th choice, but he's the guy.
ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think this tells you a couple things. One is a terrible thing. I can't defend it and do not plan to. But I'm not sure that -- I would have a little different view than Matt because unlike Tiger Woods there are big tidal forces underneath this debate. This election, ultimately, is not about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, both who have huge negatives.
Donald Trump, should be -- some of the things he said and done, if he hadn't done those, he might be 10 points ahead.
What are those big tidal forces? This country is headed in the wrong direction. The ISIS JV team has turned into an NBA pro team. The economy is stagnant and people's lives feel like they'rebeing wasted.
Guess what, they're voting for change.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me press both of you on that, but isn't that exactly what the Republicans who have abandoned the ticket in the last 48 hours are worried about. They're saying any other Republican candidate this year would be well ahead?
CASTELLANOS: There are 2.8 million ballots that have already have gone out in Florida, for example. And besides that, when you look at what Trump represents within the Republican Party, he mowed down 16 other candidates. Who is going to replace him? One of those that he defeated? The establishment is going to come in now and hand-pick an alternative?
DOWD: I was mentioned a couple of times.
First of all, this isn't just words. This isn't boys will be boys. This is somebody celebrating sexual predation, right. And in the 1990s, as Mary just mentioned, the Republicans went out of their way saying that a sexual predator shouldn't be in the White House.
CASTELLANOS: And he was reelected.
DOWD: Wait, wait. I'm not saying. Wait a second. I'm talking about hypocrisy. Hypocrisy. And now in 2016, Republicans are making the argument -- some Republicans are making the argument that it's OK to put a sexual predator back in the White House. At some point...
MATLIN: Big talker. Locker room talker.
DOWD: What did he say? This is what I do. This is what I do.
CASTELLANOS: Well, look, he may say -- he may have said something...
DOWD: So, he's either lying or he does it.
MATLIN: Locker room talker.
REP. KEITH ELLISON, (D) MINNESOTA: Let me say, I agree with Alex that there are underlying forces here, but not the ones he says.
The underlying thing here is that women all across this country dealing with sexual harassers all the time and whether you're talking about Roger Ailes or whether you're talking about this McDonald's lawsuit, or -- I mean, this is a reality for a lot of working women every single day. That issue, everybody who has had to worry about some supervisor leaning on them, hitting on them as they're just trying to make a living, those people need to get to the polls, because that's what's on the line right here.
CASTELLANOS: I agree with you, congressman. But can we apply the same standard that we applied when Bill Clinton took advantage?
ELLISON: Bill Clinton is not on the...
CASTELLANOS: Bill Clinton told us the standard.
ELLISON: Nice bait and switch.
CASTELLANOS: Private morality.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's bring in Stephanie here, and then I want to go back...
STEPHANIE CUTTER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: If that's what Donald Trump is going to do tonight. If he is going to say, hey, I'm sorry, but he did it too, that's not going to win him -- not you.
ELLISON: But I wouldn't take it from my cable -- oh, yeah, somebody else did it too, dad.
CUTTER: Two wrongs don't make a right, but he's not going to win back one Republican who has abandoned him and he's not going to gain one more vote.
CASTELLANOS: Absolutely true.
CUTTER: And this wouldn't -- we wouldn't be having this conversation -- yes, it is terrible thing for him to be admitting that he sexually assaulted women. He admitted that. But this comes in a long line of abuse and assaults on women. This isn't an isolated incident.
CASTELLANOS: When Hillary Clinton is on the ballot.
CUTTER: But, Alex.
CASTELLANOS: Look, that's not his argument.
CUTTER: The question is whether Donald Trump should be the president of the United States? And I think the answer to that question, the answer is no.
MATLIN: Whatever women are experiencing in the workplace, I'm not discounting that and I'm not defending him, but on the radio today, three out of four voters said they will cast their vote based on health care. Their coverage has gone up, their premiums have doubled, their deductibles are sky-rocketed and their care has been cut in half.
But that's part of this underlying what's going on out there? And we're all talking about Venezuela and everything.
CASTELLANOS: This election has nothing to do with government?
MATLIN: Or policy.
DOWD: It actually has to do with values. Table stakes for a president is can I trust this person, does this person look out for me, does this person care about me and whose interests are they advocating in this?
MATLIN: And Hillary Clinton has a astronomical non-trust.
DOWD: I have said that all along. Hillary Clinton has horrible numbers on that, but the idea now in the aftermath of this where Republicans for 20 years made an argument against Bill Clinton that they are willing to say, oh by the way, never mind what we said about Bill Clinton.
MATLIN: They're not.
ELLISON: Can I add one more thing to your list, what does this president signal? What do they allow? What do they green light? And the president is actually an example and a leader for other people.
And you know, you put a guy like Donald Trump in there, he has already signaled to every abuser out there who wants to lean on his female employees that that's going to be fine. The Southern Poverty Law Center put out a study saying that kids in class are more -- you know, there's more bullying going on because of this guy. He has led more -- you know, the racist and nasty comments he's said has sort of green lighted that.
Donald Trump is a bad example. And not just him, but what he claims to be about.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring a point back to Alex, he said he's apologized. He apologized twice on Friday. The first written statement was apologizing if anyone was offended. A more full-throated apology on the Facebook, but still combine that with an attack on Bill Clinton.
You sure are getting a signal from Mitch McConnell and Speaker Ryan, maybe even Mike Pence, that if he goes down that road tonight they are going to walk away, or could walk away from the ticket as well. How likely is that?
CASTELLANOS: Whether they'll walk away or not, I don't know.
You know, I suspect some would because in a way this is more dangerous for down ballot Republicans than it is for Donald Trump. Donald Trump cannot fall off the floor. He's got a 70 unfavorable. So does Hillary Clinton. They're not going to get hurt by no matter what happens in this election. They're both hugely unpopular. The down ballot candidates may have to jump off the wagon. But that's the story –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're jumping off the wagon.
CASTELLANOS: -- no, but that's the story of this election, who -- I mean, Hillary Clinton's brilliant debate strategy in the first debate was to make it about Donald Trump. Donald Trump had the same strategy. He can't do that tonight.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So now your concern about Republicans walking away, you're saying Democrats stick together.
But isn't that the best course for some of these members of Congress and senators running right now?
MARY MATALIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes, as Alex said in the green room, imagine politics breaking out in an election.
What Trump needs to do, has needed to do for conservatives like me is to talk about health care, regulatory reform --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The future.
MATALIN: -- a growth agenda. He's a little bit deeper -- I'm not saying every policy. And he should not go there because there's no -- there's no esthetic way for him to make that point. The point has been made.
CASTELLANOS: I'm sorry. It was a terrible thing. He won't do it again.
DOWD: George, I think some of us, all of us are people of faith, some of us grew up Catholic in all of that, in the process to forgiveness, right. And I've watched Rudy Giuliani's interview about like let those who cast the first stone, all of us have made mistakes.
Here's the process that I've always been taught. First, you have to express authentic, genuine regret. Second, you have to repair the damage of what you have done through your actions with the individuals that you damaged. Too, you have to reform your behavior so that there's proof of it and, fourth, you have to accept responsibility and take responsibility for your actions and be held accountable for those.
It's not as if forgive me, oh, by the way, put me in charge. It's as if somebody came to me and I was convicted of being a sexual predator. OK, I can hire you to be a babysitter for my kids. It doesn't work that way.
MATALIN: And we all focus on the --
MATALIN: -- sawdust in our brother's eye while ignoring the log in ours, Matthew --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But this is not a speck of sawdust. This is so much more than that. This is a big deal.
We believe in accountability.
MATALIN: I don't disagree with that. But we all --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are people trying to work jobs every day who suffer under what this woman had to deal with. And I think that we can't have the president signaling that this is OK.
MATALIN: What woman?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm talking about Jill Hart (ph), Alicia Mercado (sic) --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did any of them say anything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, women quite like -- Anita Hill didn't quit. People want jobs, they have to work. People have to work. They got kids to support. I mean, I just don't think that's legit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are arguing over specific instances where the bigger problem is that his entire campaign has been built around racist, misogynist, disparaging comments about Gold Star families, making fun of the disabled and now admitting to sexual assault.
So this is -- again, this is not an isolated incident. This man has been saying and doing these things for a year and a half and apparently through his entire career. So we can't look at this in isolation.
The only thing that he can do tonight, George, is he can get up there, be contrite, apologize, not hit Hillary Clinton for anything that her husband did because that is -- that's going to send women running away even more so than now.
He can get up there and do what Matt said, he can try to tell the truth. That would be a reform. He could try to give some specifics about the policies that he wants to --
CASTELLANOS: (INAUDIBLE) Hillary Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- where he wants to take this country or even a basic understanding of global affairs, which he has not been able to do. That would be presidential.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're talking about yourself as a conservative here.
And can you explain how conservatives came to the point of supporting Donald Trump when he started this campaign?
Not really a conservative.
MATALIN: And he's ending the campaign not really a conservative and he's not a Republican, either. But you have to go to war with the troops that you have.
It's like if your offense sucks, then you have to play the defense. And right now, there is no good advancing the conservative ball. So we have to stop the advance of progressives. That's -- and Republicans are begging for a reason to justify their vote for him because they do not want any more progressive encroachment in their lives.
CASTELLANOS: Our party was so weak and so visionless that we inspired no one. We had 16 of our alleged best and brightest and we stood for nothing.
And Donald Trump, an outsider came in, said, these guys are all the same, basically no difference between them and Democrats. And you know, voters, Republicans concluded they're right.
And now that same weak nothing of a Republican Party is going to replace the guy that beat them?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that gets to my final question I want to ask each of you when you go around the table.
Is Donald Trump going to be on the ballot Election Day?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He will be but the main thing is Nancy O'Dell and people like her deserve to be treated with fairness. You know, he tried to fire her two years later after he sexually harassed her.
That's the issue, that will the interests of working women across this country be on the ballot?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he will be on the ballot and women will decide the election.
DOWD: Yes, he'll be on the ballot. And the interesting thing about this election is as voters come to the conclusion that they're going to vote for Hillary Clinton, they're deciding they're going to vote for down ballot Republicans to put a stopper around Hillary. There's a reverse wave effect going on in this election.
MATALIN: Ditto and so we're going to save the Senate. Hang on to the Senate, which was in jeopardy, and the House.
And, yes, he'll be on the ballot and I still think he has a fighting chance. We're a month out.
CASTELLANOS: I agree 100 percent. He's going to be on the ballot. He's running against a tired old career politician who's not changed. He could still win.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not going to have to win another major (INAUDIBLE).
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you all very much.
Now to the latest on Hurricane Matthew from our team on the ground.
STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Hurricane Matthew battering the southern coast this week, over 2 million still without power. State of emergency North Carolina over 15 inches of rain and overnight more than 500 emergency calls as flooding continued. Our Matt Gutman is in Nag's Head, North Carolina, with the latest.
MATT GUTMAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, George. Wanted to give you a sense for how this part of North Carolina is still being sand-blasted by the dregs of Hurricane Matthew, still a very powerful storm here, 600,000 people in this state plus are without power still.
And here in the Outer Banks, much more water than anybody anticipated. In the other parts of the state, it was all about the rain. Up to 20 inches over the past 24 hours. But this part of the Outer Banks has become a Waterworld. All of that wind from the dregs of the hurricane pushing the seawater into the streets here.
Some people have tried to navigate the streets here, very, very difficult. It's made it treacherous for first responders to get to people. Nearly 600 water rescues and a number of fatalities so far. Now this is the third hurricane that I've covered in this very spot. Never seen the water build up so quickly -- George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Wow, that water's moving fast.
Thank you, Matt.
South Carolina hit hard, too. Rob Marciano, our senior meteorologist on the ground in Charleston -- Rob.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, George. Sun is up here but as they pick up the pieces in South Carolina, here in Charleston it is still evacuated. The governor is going to announce later on today whether or not they'll start to let people back in. Reason being, it's tough to get around, still 15 bridges are closed, over 300 roads are closed.
And this is probably the least impacted state, even though the center of the hurricane made landfall just 40 miles away, obviously Florida, and of course North Carolina, even some of this rain getting to the Northeast this afternoon -- George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Rob, thanks very much.
We'll be right back after this from our ABC stations.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all for us right now. We'll be right back here tonight, though, for the big debate, co-moderated by our own Martha Raddatz and I'll be anchoring our live coverage with our political team, starting at 9:00 Eastern.
Thanks for sharing your Sunday morning with us. We'll see you tonight.