(CNN) – Donald Trump has one more chance to save his flailing White House campaign.
Trump will square off Sunday night against Hillary Clinton in the second presidential debate, an opportunity to look the nation in the eye and express genuine contrition for lewd and sexually aggressive comments about women he made a decade ago. New revelations emerged Saturday after CNN’s Kfile reviewed hours of newly uncovered audio of demeaning conversations Trump held over a 17-year period with radio shock-jock Howard Stern.
The developments have tipped the Republican Party into chaos. Dozens of elected Republicans in Washington and state capitals around the country have condemned Trump — and many have called from him to step aside. His own running mate, Mike Pence, said Saturday he can’t defend Trump’s comments.
Meanwhile, Clinton has largely stayed quiet, letting the turmoil in the GOP unfold and preparing to address the controversy publicly for the first time before an audience of millions.
Trump heads into the debate, which begins at 9 pm ET and will be co-moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, under intense pressure to deliver a powerful performance that demonstrates regret and remorse for his conduct. Only a top-notch showing will help Trump stem the GOP exodus away from his campaign that kicked into full gear Saturday.
On Sunday, he struck back, hinting to Republicans distancing themselves from him that they would regret it.
“So many self-righteous hypocrites. Watch their poll numbers – and elections – go down!” he tweeted.
And his top Sunday show surrogate, Rudy Giuliani, tried to deflect concerns while showing contrition.
“The fact is that men at times talk like that. Not all men, but men do. He was wrong for doing it. I am not justifying it. I believe it’s wrong. I know he believes it’s wrong. I believe this is not the man we’re talking about today,” Giuliani told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”