"I already have, uh, condemned his comments ..."

That's from state Republican committee chairman Ed Cox, denouncing Donald Trump's degradation of women in a 2005 video from Access Hollywood.

And Cox's very next sentence? "But I've defended him as our presidential candidate."

And so it goes now for a host of committee chairpeople across New York's Republican base: distancing themselves from Trump on one front, but bound to support him on most others.

Some, like Michael Cuevas of Schenectady County, say the latest revealed comments are true to Trump's reputation.

"Perhaps this was one step beyond what we might have heard before, but not a great leap," Cuevas said.

Still, as Republican chairman, Cuevas must rally support for Trump -- though he is also concerned about the fate of his local GOP hopefuls. 

"I think it's our responsibility to support our nominee," Cuevas said. "I just think the voters should not judge the rest of the ticket by the top of the ticket."

Neither Cuevas nor Cox called the newly-released tape a death knell for Trump's campaign. In fact, Cox believes Trump still draws enough women voters to win the general election.

"We find there's tremendous support among Republican women, among women generally, for Donald Trump here in New York State," Cox said.

Both chairmen said Sunday night's presidential debate was robust and lively, and they believe Trump performed well, or even won -- though Cuevas said he wanted a greater apology for Trump's taped comments.