Donald Trump on John McCain: 'I like people who weren't captured'
AMES, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized Sen. John McCain's military record at a conservative forum Saturday, saying the party's 2008 nominee was a "war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."The comment drew some boos from the audience — and quick condemnation from rivals who have been waiting for such an opening to reign in the outspoken reality television personality. Trump has surged in polls recently, frustrating many in his party who fear that he could hurt the GOP with his comments about immigrants.
Trump and McCain, R-Ariz., traded barbs earlier this week. McCain said Trump's controversial comments about immigrants and had "fired up the crazies" at a rally in Phoenix. Trump retorted that the Arizona Republican was "a dummy" who graduated at the bottom of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy.
McCain's war record was a cornerstone of his 2008 bid for president. A Navy pilot during the Vietnam War, he was captured after his plane was shot down. He was held for more than five years as a prisoner of war.
On Saturday, speaking at a conference of religious conservatives, Trump was pressed on his description of McCain as "a dummy." The moderator, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, described McCain as "a war hero."
"He's not a war hero," Trump said. "He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."