Donald Trump has moved on this week from derogatory statements about illegal immigrants to mocking Senator John McCain’s military and POW status as he makes a bid for the Republican nomination for president.
Trump was in hot water last week for his comments regarding illegal immigrants, and many thought he would tone it down in an effort to do some damage control. Instead, while speaking at a Family Leadership Summit in Iowa Saturday afternoon, Trump turned his verbal attack toward former presidential candidate and current Arizona Senator John McCain.
As moderator Frank Luntz discussed McCain and his former presidential bid, Trump lamented that he had supported McCain for president.
“I raised a million dollars for him (McCain). That’s a lot of money. I supported him. He lost. He let us down. Ya know, he lost. So I never liked him as much after that because I don’t like losers.”
As Luntz interrupted in defense of McCain, “He’s a war hero…”
Trump responded, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured. I hate to tell you.”
Trump’s remarks were immediately met with boos and disbelief from the crowd.
Senator John McCain was a naval aviator during the Vietnam War who was shot down and captured in 1967. Suffering fractures of both arms and legs, McCain was repeatedly tortured, spending his capture in the notorious “Hanoi Hilton.” McCain persevered and was released in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords. His service and injuries garnered McCain the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart. McCain has endured limited mobility in his arms for the rest of his life.
Donald Trump’s service record is non-existent due to multiple deferments filed by Trump during the draft. Trump had previously said he avoided the Vietnam War due to high draft numbers but a report by the New York Daily News obtained records indicating Trump received multiple deferments for his student status followed by a final deferment in which he was deemed not physically acceptable for the military.
Trump and McCain appear to have a tumultuous relationship. Earlier this week, McCain lambasted Trump for his rally in Phoenix, stating that Trump only “fired up the crazies.” Trump responded to McCain by calling him a “dummy.” In the past, Trump has also been very vocal about his perception that John McCain has done little for veterans.
Still, many are questioning if Donald Trump’s inability to view John McCain as a war hero shows a level of disrespect that makes him unable to relate to the plight of the American soldier and veterans alike.
Was Donald Trump out of line for his remarks on Senator John McCain? Tell us what you think!
[Image courtesy of Charlie Leight/Getty Images]