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Thursday, October 27, 2016

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Presidential candidate Donald Trump refused on Sunday to apologize for his remarks about the war record of U.S. Senator John McCain despite a growing firestorm among fellow Republicans, and said he had no plans to drop out of the race.

Asked on ABC’s This Week if he owed McCain an apology for saying the former prisoner in North Vietnam was only considered a war hero because he was captured, Trump said, “No, not at all.” He again blasted McCain’s support for fellow veterans.

“John McCain has failed,” Trump said, citing delays in health care for veterans. “I believe that I will do far more for veterans than John McCain has done for many, many years, with all talk no action … Nothing gets done.”

McCain, a Navy fighter pilot, was imprisoned and tortured in a Hanoi prison for five years during the Vietnam War after being shot down.

Trump drew fire on Saturday for telling an audience in Iowa that McCain was “not a war hero,” and got that distinction only because he was captured, although he later softened his remarks.

Republican commentators said the latest remarks could mark the beginning of the end of his presidential bid.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Trump’s comments were “shameful”.

“And so is the fact that it took so long for his fellow Republican candidates to start standing up to him,” Clinton added on Saturday, according to Politico.

Two fellow Republican presidential candidates, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, speaking on different Sunday talk shows, said Trump’s remarks made him unfit to serve as commander in chief.

“This is not just an insult to John McCain, who clearly is a war hero and a great man,” Rubio told CNN’s State of the Union. “It’s not just absurd. It’s offensive. It’s ridiculous. And I do think it is a disqualifier as commander in chief.”

Perry told NBC’s Meet the Press that the Republican party needed to reach out to diverse populations, not drive them away, citing Trump’s recent, widely-criticized comments about Mexican immigrants.

Trump rejected calls by fellow Republicans that he drop out of the presidential race and said they were simply upset about his lead in recent polls in North Carolina, Nevada and other states.

He predicted he would win the Hispanic vote if he won the Republican presidential nomination.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; additional reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Ros Russell)

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Jim Young)

  • old_blu

    Geeze Trump, STFU! I’m having a hard time thinking that you’re going to get the nomination, and I’m so hoping you do. You my crazy friend are the best thing that has ever happened to the Democrats.
    Does everyone know what would be better?
    That would be if he doesn’t get the nomination and he runs on an Independent ticket.
    This is a win, win for the Democrats.
    GO TRUMP !

    • Dominick Vila

      Either option is fine with me!

      • FireBaron

        Oh, I think they are going to tank further once the first debate is 1/4 of the way through. At that point, only Ted Nugent and Chuck Norris will still be supporting him.

      • old_blu

        You are right Dominick he should have never bad mouthed Sen. McCain, even a loud mouthed lefty like me won’t do that. I can not see any thing negative for the Democrats that is going to come out of Trump’s loud mouth.
        Good to see you Dominick my friend it’s been awhile, I sure hope you are well.

      • plc97477

        I am not so sure. The gotp base considers McCain a rino who needed to be bad mouthed. trump has never had anything but the far right crazy base though.

      • CPAinNewYork

        Trump is noted for shooting from the lip. But, that’s all right with me. Freedom of speech is still part of the Bill of Rights.

  • Dominick Vila

    The Donald may not realize it yet, but he self-destructed when he dismissed the record of a United States veteran. The far right may love his comments about Mexicans, his comments about bombing Iraq out of existence and then sending Exxon to rebuild it, but I seriously doubt they will remain indifferent to what Trump said about Sen. McCain’s service to country. Live by the sword…

    • CPAinNewYork

      I agree with Trump: McCain is not a hero. He was a prisoner of war. As to his having stood up to torture: we have only his word on that.

      Are there any corroborating statements from fellow prisoners of war on his heroism?

      • TZToronto

        He’s kind of like Timmy O’Toole, who fell down a well on the Simpsons. Lisa was right when she asked why he was a hero–all he did was fall down a well. Of course, Timmy did not exist, but McCain did. I have no idea whether he stood up to torture, but it’s obvious he was tortured. For that and for surviving, he deserves respect. (Oh, I’m sure Trump would have been able to stand up to the torture, right? Oh, wait . . . he got the Cheney-type of deferments and didn’t have the opportunity to demonstrate his heroism. Does anyone doubt that he’d be touting his own heroism if he had been a tortured POW?)

  • DAK27

    But bad-mouthing a veteran was fine when that vet was a Democrat….

    Tough cookies, Mr. GOP. YOU made this monster, you fed it, you gave it life… Now YOU CAN SUFFER BY IT’S HAND. GO TRUMP!!

  • FT66

    I have never ever come across a smart politician (though he claims he is only a businessman) like Trump. This man is superb. He really masters the game very well. So far he has made Fox and GOP look as if they don’t know what they are doing, and why are they there for. To be frank, I’m quite excited with all these moves and love politics more and more.

    • idamag

      Me, too.

      • FT66

        Brilliant. The crazy period has already started with a big BUNG by Donald Trump.

    • Carolyn1520

      LOL The entertainment factor is certainly worth the ride.

      • FT66


    • old_blu

      Me too, this is going to be fun..

      • FT66


      • neeceoooo

        bring on the popcorn and drinks

  • arelis Jones

    To our Military… Please don’t become a POW, Donald Trump may not like you???

  • idamag

    Have you ever considered that Trump is not running for president, but trying to get the so-called Republicans to wake up to their stupidity? That would account for his abrasive remarks. The sad thing was his racist remarks made his poll number jump.

    • Carolyn1520

      I wondered that myself. I thought , what if he was a deep undercover troll who was actually shilling . Then after looking a little deeper into his history, I concluded he’s just a big ego and while he knows what he knows in the areas that have made him successful in terms of money, he’s pretty much just a big mouth moron otherwise.
      Hence his appeal to that segment of the right.

  • Grannysmovin

    “On Sunday, CNN host Jake Tapper reminded Republicans who were
    outraged over attacks on Sen. John McCain’s war record that their entire party
    had been united in smearing then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s
    military service in 2004.
    I agree, what Trump said disrespected every man and woman who wore and wears a uniform of our military. Trump have you no shame?

    • idamag

      I think the word is “hypocrites.”

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Since I am the same peerage of McCain and Trump, one question remains…McCain enlisted at the time of the Viet Nam war…what was Trump’s excuse? Too much baby powder on his butt?

    As I recall, the men who fought in Viet Nam were drafted…why wasn’t Trump? Or was Daddy Freddy’s billions the reason just like Cheney and Bush evaded doing their duty to their country.

    Trump is notorious for refusing to ever admit he is wrong. To the world, Trump can NEVER be wrong…his record of failed marriages prove otherwise.

    • DOC

      Not all were drafted some of us were already in the service

    • idamag

      Those aren’t marriages. Those are sales to the highest bidder for a ring.

  • TheSkalawag929

    Ask yourself what did John McCain actually do to be regarded as a war hero? He was shot down, captured and tortured for five years. True those were horrendous circumstances to survive but Trump didn’t lie when he said those things. What he said was true and republicans are all up in arms because he dared to speak the truth.
    Where was the republican outrage when G.W. Bush & company lied about McCaine back in 2000?
    Where was the republican outrage when their own, Saxbee Chambliss unabashedly lied about the service record of war hero Max Cleland in 2002?
    Where was their outrage when the Swift Boaters lied and trashed John Kerry’s record in the 2004 election?
    They were on the sidelines cheering their lying draft dodging colleagues on.
    I know what the current republican party is full of and it ain’t outrage.

    • idamag

      Since my great-grandfather was one of the first Republicans, I think what claims to be Republicans, today are anything but.

  • Carolyn1520

    It’s funny, during the 2008 election period, there were many people saying the same thing about McCain. His record at the Naval Academy, the fact that he crashed so many planes on a regular basis and the number of POW’s who didn’t have many good things to say about him or his character were far more negative than anything Trump has said. McCain was never what one would consider “a stand up guy”, according to those who knew him best. McCain’s daddy got him out of a number of tight squeezes. Now because the right doesn’t like Trump, they are trying change the narrative and say Trump is insulting all POW’s and owes them all an apology. No, he’s directing his comments at McCain and only McCain.
    Im sure McCain doesn’t relish having any of his history revisited again. 😀

    • johninPCFL

      I listened to Trump’s remarks, and they were pretty mild by any comparison to those issued during the 2008 campaign.

      • Carolyn1520

        That’s what I thought too.
        On the other hand, during the 2000 primaries his own party trashed him in a way the dems never came close to matching.

    • idamag

      His romantic history is sort of sordid, too. He went with his current wife for a year before divorcing his former wife (who was suffering injuries from an auto accident) so he could marry his girlfriend or mistress or whatever she was.

      • Carolyn1520

        Yeah it is!
        When he was at the Academy, fellow midshipmen, who knew him, said he didn’t have a lot of respect for women and didn’t handle rejection well at all. He apparently had no problem calling women vile names and there have been multiple stories about him doing so since.
        He’s a stereotypical example of a privileged kid who believed he was entitled. He got bailed out by his parents at every turn, including keeping him in the Academy. He would have otherwise washed out but did end up graduating at almost the bottom of his class.
        His first wife, a model, ended up not looking like the same person he married due to her injuries. After he returned home, he wasted no time and he eventually traded her in for an heiress, 18 years his junior.
        I think his first wife ended up being the lucky one.
        He capitalized on his misfortune of being shot down and captured. It’s interesting though that the military didn’t reward him with any higher positions when he came home. Apparently they weren’t as impressed with the war hero hype being created. Maybe all the planes he crashed and other mishaps he was not held accountable for, were the determining factors.