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Donald Trump's former campaign manager said his comments were indefensible

But he shrugged off concerns the footage would hurt down-ballot GOP candidates

Washington CNN  — 

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager acknowledged Friday that vulgar statements the Republican presidential nominee made about women in 2005 were indefensible, but said the US was not “electing a Sunday school teacher.”

Corey Lewandowski told CNN that Trump’s lewd and sexually aggressive remarks from 2005 that were surfaced Friday did not reflect the man he came to know on the campaign trail.

“Look, I think what this comes down to – and this is not a surprise – is clearly this is not how women should be spoken about,” the CNN contributor told Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.” “I never heard anything like this out of him. And so let me say, we’re appointing a leader, we are electing a leader to the free world. We’re not electing a Sunday school teacher.”

But despite his misgivings, Lewandowski remained adamant that the American people still wanted “a tough, brash, bold person” in the White House.

“Again, this private conversation obviously is troubling, but we want a leader who is going to lead America,” Lewandowski said. “And you know what, is that rough sometimes? It is. Is this defensible? Absolutely not. But what I do know is he’s the person who’s going to lead our country forward and we should think about what that true leadership looks like for the rest of the world.”

Lewandowski denied that this latest furor would cause more Republicans to distance themselves from their party’s standard-bearer because of the amount of money the businessman has raised for their campaign coffers.

He also shrugged off concerns the controversy would hurt GOP candidates running in tough down-ballot races.

“I think the American people know exactly who Donald Trump is,” Lewandowski said. “He is a person. And what has been such an attraction to Donald Trump is that he’s not a career politician. He doesn’t measure every word. He speaks from the heart. He speaks the way, you know many times people talk around their dining room table.”