- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 18, 2015

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling on Donald Trump to bow out of the 2016 GOP presidential race, after the New York real estate mogul ridiculed Sen. John McCain’s military service.

Mr. Perry and Mr. Trump have been engaged in a back-and-forth that escalated Saturday when Mr. Trump dismissed the idea that Mr. McCain is a war hero for getting shot down over Vietnam and being imprisoned for nearly six years.

Mr. Perry called on Mr. Trump to apologize and end his bid for the White House, and the Republican National Committee said that there is “no place in our party” for Mr. Trump’s comments.

“As a veteran and an American, I respect Sen. McCain because he volunteered to serve his country. I cannot say the same of Mr. Trump. His comments have reached a new low in American politics,” Mr. Perry said. “His attack on veterans make him unfit to be Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, and he should immediately withdraw from the race for President.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Perry have been trading barbs for several days.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Perry failed to secure the Texas-Mexico border as governor and said Mr. Perry should be “forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.”

Mr. Trump also had took aim this week at Mr. McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, calling him a “dummy” after the Arizona Senator said that Mr. Trump’s controversial remarks on immigration have fired “up the crazies” in the Republican party.

The feud spilled into the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa on Saturday when Mr. Trump mocked Mr. McCain’s war hero status.

“He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured,” Mr. Trump said, sarcastically. “I like people who weren’t captured.”
Then he added, “He’s a war hero because he was captured. OK, I believe — perhaps he’s a war hero.”

Mr. Trump’s GOP presidential came to Mr. McCain’s defense.
“If there was ever any doubt that @realDonaldTrump should not be our commander in chief, this stupid statement should end all doubt,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said.

“Enough with the slanderous attacks,” said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “@SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans - particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration.”

Sean Spicer, RNC spokesperson, said Mr. McCain is “an American hero because he served his country and sacrificed more than most can imagine. Period.”
“There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably,” Mr. Spicer said.

Despite the blow back, Mr. Trump signaled he plans on sticking around the nomination race, blasting out a news release in which he leveled additional criticism at Mr. McCain.

“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,” Mr. Trump said. “He is also allowing our military to decrease substantially in size and strength, something which should never be allowed to happen.”

“I have great respect for all those who serve in our military including those that weren’t captured and are also heroes,” he added. “I want to strengthen our military and take care of our Veterans. I want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN especially for those that serve to protect our freedom. I am fighting for our Veterans!”

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