Donald Trump: No apology to McCain, vows to stay the course
Donald Trump doesn’t care about mounting Republican outrage either.
Trump, who has stood by past statements questioning President Barack Obama’s birthplace and asserting many Mexican undocumented immigrants were “rapists,” is doing the same with his comments disparaging Ariz. Sen. John McCain’s military service because McCain was shot down and captured during the Vietnam War.
“No, not at all,” Trump said during a phone interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” when asked if he owed the Arizona Republican an apology.
Trump, who made his remark — “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured” — at a gathering of Republican presidential at the Family Leadership Summit Saturday in Ames, Iowa, also insisted the crowd was delighted by his attack on McCain.
“I got a standing ovation, the biggest ovation they had all weekend, by far,” Trump said. “When I left the room, it was a total standing ovation. It was wonderful to see. Nobody was insulted.”
He said the the GOP presidential candidates who were quick to condemn his remarks were motivated by jealousy.
“Later on, the Republican candidates, some of whom are registering 1 percent and zero, and they’re very upset that I’m leading the polls by actually a nice margin, they’re extremely upset,” Trump said Sunday, adding: “They started attacking me.”
He also said he wouldn’t drop out of the race, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry called for him to do.
“Of course, they’d love to have me do that because I’m leading the pack,” naming Nevada and North Carolina as two states where polls show him in the lead. “I’m certainly not pulling out; I’m leading, and I’m leading in many states.”
Trump said it was actually McCain, who still cannot lift his arms above his head due to torture he experienced while a prisoner of war in Vietnam, who needed to apologize — to the citizens who showed up at a Trump rally in Phoenix last weekend. McCain said Trump “fired up the crazies” at the rally, sparking their now week-long feud.
The people in Phoenix were “devastated by illegal immigration, something I’m very proud to have brought to the forefront,” Trump said. “We had thousands of people, and he said they’re all crazies. He called them crazies. And frankly, I think he owes them an apology.”
Trump also continued to attack McCain for not doing enough to help veterans.
“I’m very disappointed in John McCain because the vets are horribly treated in this country,” Trump said. “I’m going to fight for the vets. I’ve done a lot for the vets. And the vets — I’ve been going around to the campaign trail. They’re treated like third-class citizens. He’s done nothing to help the vets. And I will tell you, they are living in hell.”
The billionaire real estate developer and entertainer said his experience helping to build the Vietnam Memorial in downtown Manhattan showed he could help veterans more than McCain could.
“He’s on television all the time, talking, talking,” Trump said of McCain. “Nothing gets done. You look at what’s happening to our veterans — they’re being decimated, OK. So, I will do far more for veterans than anybody. I’ll be able to build them new hospitals, I’ll be able to build them care centers. I’ll be able to help the veterans.”
And Trump vowed to keep a key part of his persona — responding to critics by calling people “dummy,” among other things, and insulting the physical appearance of others — even if he were elected president.
“When people attack me, I let them have it back,” Trump said. “You say physical appearance, you know, it’s my hair but people are constantly attacking my hair. I don’t see you coming to my defense.”
comments:Jack spring says:Trump's right: McCain graduated last in his class at Annapolis ... He is a dummy ... Trump did well at Wharton ... McCain then went on to lose a very expensive fighter jet because he was a lousy pilot, then went on to lose a very expensive Presidential race because he was a lousy political candidate. War hero? Why? Because he was captured and survived? He's a Keating Five cheat and was on the wrong side of comprehensive campaign finance reform and immigration reform (amnesty) ... McCain is jealous because Trump drew a crowd much larger and more enthusiastic than he ever did in Phoenix and insulted the effort saying Trump attracts crazies. McCain deserves a knockout punch from Trump to shut him up so he fades into oblivion. RINOS your days are over ... McCain and Romney, you lost the last two elections for us, gave us Obama, and lost our country. You call us crazy? We just want our country back.