DENVER (AP) — Colorado's Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Darryl Glenn, said Tuesday he has "absolutely" suspended his endorsement of Donald Trump over Trump's lewd remarks about women — but he still wants to meet Trump "to know what's in his heart" before making a final decision.
Glenn said during a debate with Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet that he believes Trump apologized for his remarks, which were captured in a 2005 recording, during Sunday's presidential debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"What you saw on Sunday was an individual who made an apology," Glenn said, adding, "I want to know what's in his heart."
Glenn, a conservative El Paso County commissioner who has embraced Trump in his campaign, has been criticized for evolving stands on Trump's remarks, heard in a videotape disclosed last week.
He's called them "disgusting and unacceptable," and he said over the weekend that Trump was "simply disqualified from being commander in chief." But this week, Glenn said he hopes to meet with the Republican presidential candidate "and give him the opportunity to share his heart and win back my vote."
He said he'd invited Trump to come to Colorado to explain his remarks.
No such meeting has been arranged, according to Glenn's campaign.
Bennet, who's seeking a second full term, pressed Glenn on the issue.
"I wonder what really changed," Bennet said, adding that "as the father of three daughters I didn't hear an apology."
"I have absolutely suspended my endorsement of Donald Trump," Glenn responded in one of the more heated exchanges of the evening.
The issue nearly overshadowed a debate in which Bennet defended his votes for the U.S. nuclear arms deal with Iran and the Affordable Care Act, and insisted that the latter be fixed to make health care premiums affordable. Glenn called for the repeal of the health care program and an end to energy policies that cost coal workers jobs.
The debate was held at History Colorado in Denver and hosted by KUSA-TV. A small crowd of protesters chanted outside to protest the exclusion of third party candidates.
Glenn's grassroots campaign has struggled to raise funds and advertising after national Republican Party leaders, who'd once backed a rival in the GOP primary, failed to endorse him.