WEST CHESTER, PA – Mike Parrish, Democratic candidate for Congress in PA-06, U.S. Army veteran, and Colonel in the Army Reserves, condemned comments by Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump and his opponent’s ongoing support for Mr. Trump.

Donald Trump’s comments, caught on tape, and released to the media on Friday are disgusting and deeply disturbing, not to mention totally disqualifying. That so many Republican elected officials, including Ryan Costello, continue to stand behind him serves as an embarrassing and constant reminder of my opponent’s failed leadership.

 Beyond the entirely immoral and lewd nature of the comments made by the Republican Nominee, the acts Trump describes and brags about in the video are by any definition, including the one used by the Department of Justice, sexual assault and harassment. I have already seen defenders of Trump dismiss his language as ‘crude locker room chatter’. I served in the Army for 30 years and I have never heard something as totally appalling in any locker room or mess hall.

 As the father of two daughters, the son of a wonderful mother, and frankly, as a human being, I am ashamed that Donald Trump is a credible nominee for President. The truth is that Trump’s ascent was made possible by the cowardice of career politicians, like Mr. Costello. Their continued complicity has only emboldened a dangerous man who does not demonstrate the judgment, temperament or character to lead our nation.

 At the beginning, when Ryan Costello announced his support for Donald Trump, and was elected as a delegate to the RNC, Trump was already known to have open hostility toward and disrespect for women, including use of terms like “fat pig.”  Costello endorsed him anyway.  When Trump attacked Latinos and Muslims, Ryan Costello failed to challenge him.  When Trump disrespected veterans, and attacked Gold Star families, Ryan Costello failed to denounce him.

 At this point, even if my opponent were to finally denounce Mr. Trump, and support the values of our community, it would be obvious lip service and disingenuous political opportunism.  Mr. Costello’s ongoing support for Donald Trump has shown us who he really is.

 Trump’s comments are not surprising.   Donald Trump’s misogyny, ignorance, total lack of judgment, temperament and lack of  moral character have been on display throughout the long election cycle.  During the Primary, many prominent Republicans were quick to point to these very characteristics as evidence of his lack of fitness for office. Since his nomination, we have learned a lot more about both Donald Trump and the moral courage of his supporters in the Republican Party. Ryan Costello, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell have turned a blind eye to their nominee’s obvious and offensive moral failings, once again putting their party over country, their own naked ambition and desire for victory in front of the needs of our nation, and in doing so have failed our communities and country.


*Mike Parrish is a member of the U.S. Army Reserves.  Use of his military rank, job titles and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.