Donald Trump continues his march as leader of the GOP pack amid more controversy this week which now has his fellow candidates and the party hurrying to dismiss him.
In a public forum in Iowa on Saturday, Trump disparaged Sen. John McCain when he commented, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured.” McCain was, of course, a POW in the Vietnam War.
The comments immediately drew the ire both of McCain and of many of the leading GOP contenders in the race as “absurd”, “offensive” and “ridiculous”.
In hopes mitigating any potential damage to the party, the RNC issued a statement declaring matter of factly “there is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who served honorably.”
But Trump, undeterred by the criticism, returned fire in a USA Today op-ed arguing that his disdain for McCain chiefly concerns the senator’s alleged failure to support the VA against the Obama administration and that in his push for amnesty he would rather secure the border in Iraq than in Arizona.
Conservative who support Trump and dislike McCain certainly have problems with that same history of McCain’s positions, a fact reflected in Trump’s continuing popularity among some on the Right.
A recent Fox News poll of the Republican presidential field confirmed the Suffolk University poll released early last week in which both show Trump with a commanding lead of 17-18%.