Donald Trump says he will not apologize for his recent remarks about Arizona GOP Senator John McCain. He further said that he was being condemned from his party rivals who were behind him in the polls.
“Republican candidates, some of whom are registering one percent and zero, they’re very upset that I’m leading the polls by actually a nice margin,” Trump said at ABC’s “This Week.”
“They started attacking me.”
Trump was criticized for the remarks he made about McCain on Saturday, saying that the former Navy fighter pilot who spent five and a half years as a prisoner during the Vietnam War was “not a war hero.”
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured.
“And I believe, perhaps he is a war hero.”
Following the controversy surrounding the comments, Trump was asked on Sunday whether he felt apologetic for what he had said.
“No, not at all,” he replied. “When I left the room it was a total standing ovation, it was wonderful to see, nobody was insulted.”
Trump defended his comments, saying that veterans who were not captured did not receive the same acknowledgement as those who were.
“People who fought hard and weren’t captured and went through a lot, they get no credit,” he said. “Nobody even talks about them; they’re, like, forgotten.”
According to Yahoo News, Trump also said, “I will say what I want to say.”
“And maybe that’s why I am leading in the polls,” he added. “Because people are tired of hearing politicians, and pollsters telling the politicians exactly what to say.”
Other GOP presidency contenders have expressed their disapproval of Trump staying in the race for the candidacy.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said, “It’s not just absurd, it’s offensive. It’s ridiculous. And I do think it is a disqualifier as commander in chief.”
Other GOP candidates, including Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, and Scott Walker, also rebuked Trump for the comments. In a statement, the Republican National Committee said, “There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.”
According to The Guardian, McCain had outraged the business mogul by calling the audience at one of Trump’s rallies “crazies.”
“This all started when we had thousands and thousands of people in Phoenix, Arizona,” Trump said. “He [McCain] called them crazies. Frankly, I think he owes them an apology.”
Following the criticism, Trump dismissed his rivals.
“You know the Republican Party – of course I was one of their darlings when I was a contributor,” he said. “I went from a darling to somebody that they’re not happy with because I’m not a politician.”
He then went on to talk about how he has also been a subject of controversy in the past.
“People are constantly attacking my hair,” he said. “I don’t see you coming to my defense. My hair is just fine. But if I say something about somebody else …”
Perry called for Trump to back out from the race for the candidacy, as reported by Fox News.
“I really don’t understand his strategy here of taking on a bullet that went through John McCain and a hit a lot of us that wore the uniform of this country,” Perry said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“And I still stand by my statement. Until Mr. Trump apologizes directly to John McCain and to the veterans of this country, I don’t think he has the character or the temperament to hold the highest position in this country.”
However, Trump reiterated his position on Sunday, saying that he will not drop out.
“I’m certainly not pulling out,” Trump said. “I’m leading and I’m leading in many states. … And I will win the Hispanic vote.”
Meanwhile, Meghan McCain expressed her condemnation over Trump’s comments about her father.
I can't believe what I am reading this morning. Horrified. Disgusted. There are no words.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 18, 2015
According to New York Daily News, she further said, “I have a brother that just returned from Afghanistan a month ago, glad he can come home to this being said about his father and his service.”
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