Real-estate magnate Donald Trump’s attacked Sen. John McCain’s (R-Arizona) status as a “war hero” on Saturday, saying he was only viewed as a war hero because “he was captured.”
Speaking at an event in Iowa, Trump argued that McCain — who has spoken out against Trump for his controversial comments about Mexican immigrants — was not a real war hero.
“He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured,” Trump said.
“Perhaps he’s a war hero, but right now, he’s said bad things about a lot of people,’ Trump added.
The real-estate mogul also said that he didn’t like McCain after his loss to President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
“I never liked him after that, because I don’t like losers,” Trump said.
Trump has recently spoken out more forcefully against McCain, after the veteran senator denounced Trump for “firing up the crazies” during a speech last week in Phoenix.
In response, Trump demanded an apology, and tweeted that McCain is a “dummy.”
As the Washington Post reported, Trump recently is lobbying for a primary challenger to run against McCain in 2016.
Several Republican presidential candidates were quick to condemn Trump.
John McCain is an American hero. I have nothing but respect for his service to our country.
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) July 18, 2015
McCain’s plane was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967. He spent five years in a prisoner-of-war camp, where he was tortured.
McCain has been an outspoken advocate for fair treatment of prisoners of war, pushing to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and causing him to butt heads with the Bush administration over its use of “advanced interrogation techniques.”