“He’s not a war hero”, said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured”.
He spoke on Saturday at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.
This is the second time this week that Trump has taken a jab at the 2008 Republican nominee.
Trump eventually took to Twitter and Facebook to clarify his comments, while still not apologizing to McCain.
“I will tell you, it is a true and humbling privilege to serve in the Senate with a hero like John McCain”, Texas Sen.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted a call for a cease fire, noting that “all our veterans – particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration”.
McCain was shot down flying combat missions in Vietnam on October 26, 1967. He says questioning a person’s military valor in the political arena is a low blow. In a statement, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the remarks make Trump “unfit to be commander-in-chief”.
Although, his comments were met with shocked boos and jeers from the crowd, Trump doubled down.
He made the McCain comments during the summit sponsored by Christian conservative groups. “It’s just a disgrace”. Is Donald Trump a lunatic or what?
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“To disparage a legitimate American hero like John McCain – you may disagree with his politics, and that’s fine”, he continued. “Period”, RNC chief strategist and communications director Sean Spicer said.
Response on Twitter was swift from other Republican candidates.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also was quick to condemn Trump’s remarks. Instead, he insisted that he was criticizing McCain for “not doing enough for our veterans”.
Real-estate magnate Donald Trump’s attacked Sen.
Trump stepped up his criticism of McCain on Saturday in Ames.
The New York mogul told moderator Frank Luntz that he supported McCain’s failed presidential bid in 2008 with $1 million in campaign contributions. Trump said he is Presbyterian who attends church. “He lost and let us down….”
In a Bloomberg interview Saturday, Cruz said “I’m not going to go into the gutter with personal attacks”.
In a combative, 18-minute news conference following his remarks here, Trump refused to apologize for his attack on McCain’s war service. “He’s a ‘war hero” because he was captured. He pretended that his criticism came because McCain “has not done enough for veterans in this country…I see the veterans”. Only then, he said, should work permits be granted to immigrants who have been in the country for a significant time, pay taxes and a fine, and haven’t “otherwise violated the law”.
“John McCain is an American hero”.
Donald Trump mocked John McCain – and by extension other members of the armed services held as prisoners of war – saying that being captured by the enemy does not equal heroism.
“I like the people that don’t get captured, and I respect the people that do get captured”, Trump said.
At that point, Trump turned and answered a question about China.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson suggested that Trump’s comments were stupid, but was also hesitant to wade into the debate.
In 2011, ABC News reported that Trump had received multiple academic and medical deferments to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War. “I had a bone spur”. Looks like that’s his base! He added he wasn’t an anti-war protester. I am fighting for our Veterans! “We have won propaganda wars before”.