GOP 2016 field defends McCain after Trump's attacks
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump critics push new direction for GOP Graham warns about trying to 'drive' Trump from GOP: 'Half the people will leave' Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP MORE (R-S.C.), a close friend of McCain’s, said that Trump’s comments should disqualify him from winning the White House next year.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) also praised McCain’s history as a Vietnam War veteran in Twitter posts that afternoon.
Trump taunted McCain’s six years as a prisoner of war during a question-and-answer session of the 2015 Family Values Summit in Ames, Iowa, earlier Saturday.
“He was a war hero because he was captured,” Trump quipped sarcastically to host Frank Luntz. “I like people who weren’t captured.”
The verbal barb came after Luntz challenged Trump over his criticism of McCain’s political career.
The pollster questioned his remarks given McCain is a “war hero.”
“I supported McCain for president,” Trump said of McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.
“He lost and let us down,” he said, arguing he had spent $1 million on McCain’s Oval Office bid.
“I’ve never liked him as much after that,” Trump added. “I don’t like losers.”
Trump and McCain have feuded in the media following Trump’s July 11 rally against illegal immigration in Phoenix.
McCain said in an interview published Thursday the event appealed to the right wing’s most extreme members.
“It’s very bad,” he said of Trump’s rally earlier this month.
“This performance with our friend in Phoenix is very hurtful,” McCain said.
“Because what he did is he fired up the crazies,” he added. “Now he galvanized them. He’s really got them activated.”