Donald Trump has been enjoying an inexplicable surge in the polls, but that may come crashing down on him sooner than expected. On Saturday, the billionaire business mogul made some negative comments about Sen. John McCain, a Naval veteran who was a prisoner of war for over five years after his plane was shot down in North Vietnam. As it turns out, Trump doesn't think McCain is a war hero, because war heroes apparently don't let themselves be captured by the enemy (Trump's logic, not ours).
While addressing the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Trump took some time out to criticize the Arizona senator, whose POW past frequently plays a role in his politics. It was most recently seen, for example, in McCain's condemnation of the CIA's torture of detainees during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Trump is not impressed with McCain's military service and unfortunate capture and imprisonment.
"He is not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured," Trump reportedly told the crowd on Saturday. "I like people that weren't captured, OK."
McCain, by the way, received the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart for his service during the Vietnam War. Trump, meanwhile, has never served in the military. According to Mediaite, the billionaire received several military service deferments during the 1960s, successfully evading the draft.
Following Saturday's event, Trump released a statement on McCain on his official Facebook page. He chastised the Arizona senator for being "all talk," particularly on veteran and military affairs:
I am not a fan of John McCain because he has done so little for our Veterans and he should know better than anybody what the Veterans need, especially in regards to the VA. He is yet another all talk, no action politician who spends too much time on television and not enough time doing his job and helping the Vets. He is also allowing our military to decrease substantially in size and strength, something which should never be allowed to happen.
Trump then took to Twitter, where he doubled down on his comments about McCain while also trying to make amends with any military veterans he may have offended. "Captured or not, all our soldiers are heroes!" Trump tweeted.
But the damage — including the self-destruction of Trump's campaign — is done. Trump's comments immediately triggered backlash from his fellow GOP presidential challengers, including former Texas governor Rick Perry, who went on Twitter to show his support for McCain.
Perry also pointed out Trump's evasion of the draft…
And said the words we've all been screaming in our heads...
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who recently joined the 2016 race, also tweeted one simple word to Trump: "Stop."
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who currently serves with McCain in the U.S. Senate, did not call McCain a war hero, but tweeted his full support to his colleague.
And Rick Santorum, who formerly served with McCain in the Senate, echoed Christie's succinct sentiments.
So, will Trump — dear God — finally get the hint and say, "Enough is enough." He is certainly bracing for a massive fallout at this point, but it looks like his hubris hasn't been crushed just yet. Later on Saturday, Trump decided to throw some snark at Perry's gubernatorial record as a response-attack to Perry's harsh criticisms.
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