Eric Trump defends his father in Colorado, blasts the Clintons

Eric Trump, at right, son of the Republican presidential candidate, speaks with campaign volunteer Benjamin Cooper, Youth for Colorado state director Jade Haney, Trump Colorado campaign official Jeff Eggemeyer and volunteer Coy Ebell at Trump's Denver office Monday afternoon, October 10, 2016. Photo by Joey Bunch, The Gazette

Eric Trump, the presidential candidate's 32-year-old son, came to Colorado Monday to talk business and energize volunteers, but he was armed and ready to defend his father's personal reputation.

He blamed Hillary Clinton's campaign for releasing a 2005 "Access Hollywood" audio tape in which his father made lewd comments about kissing and groping women against their will, and getting away with because he's a celebrity.

"I think that's Hillary going low," the younger Trump said in the campaign's Denver office, after he greeted volunteers. "I think you've seen that for a long time. If you look at her track record with women, I think you saw that yesterday with some of the people we had sitting at the debate. It's horrible. She'll dig out dirt on someone from 15 years ago when someone is in entertainment.

"And, listen, my father apologized for it. He was right to apologize for it, and I'm glad he apologized for it. At the same time, if you look at her track record with women, it's horrible. It's absolutely horrible."

There has been no evidence that the Clinton campaign released the damaging tape.

Eric Trump said he was "surprised it came out."

"At the same time, I think it's locker room banter," he said, repeating his father's description of it. "I think sometimes when guys are together they get carried away, and sometimes that's what happens when alpha personalities are in the same presence. At the same time, I'm not saying it's right. It's not the person that he is."

Eric Trump said he met with the four Bill Clinton accusers his father brought to Sunday night's debate.

"I think actions speak a lot louder than words, and I think (about) her actions as it pertains to females and Bill's actions as it pertains to females and the lives they've destroyed," said Eric Trump, a younger version of his confident father with steely blue eyes and slicked-back blonde hair, as he leaned forward in a metal folding chair.

"And I spoke to some of those women yesterday, and they're amazing women, and when they say 'the shame Hillary put me through' in many cases (was) worse than the rapes themselves, that's pretty powerful stuff."

Bill Clinton was never charged with sexual assault surrounding accusations made by Republicans in the 1990s, when he was president.

Eric Trump said he was touched, however, when Hillary Clinton responded to a question at the end of the debate by saying she admired Trump's children,

"It was incredibly nice, and we were all very honored," he said, pivoting to his father responding with respect for Clinton's toughness and tenacity.

"I think that's one of the greatest compliments you can give somebody ... I wish more campaigns were a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom," the younger Trump said Monday.

The visit signals the importance of Colorado to his father's viability. Trump closed the gap with Clinton in the state, before his Oct. 3 debate, with more recent polls showing him trailing by double digits.

Hillary Clinton is expected to encourage voter registration at a public event in Pueblo Wednesday. The campaign had not finalized plans as of Monday afternoon, however,

Her running mate, Tim Kaine, appeared at a get-out-the-vote concert with pop rocker Dave Matthews at the National Western Complex in Denver Monday.

Earlier Monday, Eric Trump met with campaign volunteers in Adams County, before he spoke to an 18-person business round table organized by NexGen Resources Corp. in Greenwood Village.

"We won last night," he said as he greeted the room, before speaking in a conference room with large glass windows overlooking Interstate 25, framed by the Rocky Mountains. "She even said nice things about us last night."

He told the group he's not a politician, and when asked later in the day about his role with the campaign, he said he was "just a son."

"I don't really care to be in politics, to tell you the truth, but I care deeply about him and his mission in making America great again, but normally I'm sitting in this very seat that you guys are in," said Eric Trump, a businessman who works with his father.

He said the government had not made it easy on those who run businesses.

"We're going to lower taxes substantially ... we're going to change the regulation system, regulation is putting businesses out of business, and it's so bad," he said, going on to Obamacare as a burden on businesses, curbing deficits, creating jobs, easing conditions for small businesses and re-energizing U.S. manufacturing.

Eric Trump is expected to meet with more campaign volunteers in Colorado Tuesday.

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

Load comments