New York Post

DON VOYAGE!

Trump is toast after insult : ‘McCain not a war hero’

- By AARON SHORT

Donald Trump likely destroyed his presidenti­al campaign Saturday after he said that Vietnam POW John McCain was a “loser” and “not a war hero.”

This dumb diatribe might have Trumped them all.

Donald Trump on Saturday said there was nothing heroic about the 5¹/₂ years Sen. John McCain spent in a North Vietnamese POW camp — souring even his staunchest Republican supporters.

“He’s not a war hero,” the billionair­e presidenti­al candidate said in Iowa, stunning an audience of Christian conservati­ves whose cheers dissolved into boos and murmurs. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

McCain, 78, a Navy pilot, was shot down in 1967 over Hanoi. He was tortured in captivity yet refused to be released before his fellow prisoners. He was freed in 1973.

Trump, a 69yearold billionair­e whose father was a realestate mogul, reportedly received five deferments from military service at the height of the Vietnam War.

He mocked McCain for being last or secondtola­st in his class at the US Naval Academy and called him a “loser” for failing in the 2008 presidenti­al race.

The “Apprentice” host launched into the rant when asked about his calling McCain a “dummy” last week following the senator’s comments that Trump’s Arizona followers were “crazies.”

“I know what a crazy is,” he said at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa. “I know all about crazy. These weren’t crazies.”

Trump’s remarks were quickly condemned by GOP leaders.

“There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer.

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidenti­al nominee, took a jab at Trump over Twitter.

“The difference between @SenJohnMcC­ain and @realDonald­Trump: Trump shot himself down,” he tweeted.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, also running for the GOP nomination, tweeted, “America’s POWs deserve much better than to have their service questioned by the offensive rantings of Donald Trump.”

Another candidate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, called Trump’s remarks “disgracefu­l” and said he was “unfit to be commander in chief.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker refused to attack Trump but called McCain “an American hero.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the presumed GOP frontrunne­r, decried “slanderous attacks” on McCain without mentioning Trump.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he was “proud to serve alongside” McCain but refused to slam Trump.

Speaking Saturday, Trump credited God for “giving me a certain brain . . . I was born with a certain intellect that is good for this.”

After his segment, he backpedale­d on his McCain remarks.

“If a person is captured, they’re a hero as far as I’m concerned,” he said, but added, “I don’t like the job John McCain is doing in the Senate because he is not taking care of our veterans.”

Trump, who has been blasted for his remarks on “criminal” Mexican immigrants, led the GOP presidenti­al field in a national Fox poll of registered voters Thursday.

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 ??  ?? TOO FAR: Donald Trump speaks Saturday at a forum, where he criticized Sen. John McCain for getting captured as a POW (below) in Vietnam.
TOO FAR: Donald Trump speaks Saturday at a forum, where he criticized Sen. John McCain for getting captured as a POW (below) in Vietnam.
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