The Republican convention is less than a month away and you would think Donald Trump would be busy mending bridges and uniting his party for the tough fall campaign ahead.
But no. That wouldn’t be Trump.
The presumptive GOP nominee traveled to Phoenix on Friday and delivered a blistering attack on Senator John McCain.
“We have incompetent politicians, not only the president,” said Trump. “I mean right here in your own state you have John McCain. I just hate to see when people don’t have common sense, don’t have an understanding of what’s going on. Or, perhaps, they don’t want to know.”
Trump’s supporters loudly booed when Trump mentioned the senior senator from Arizona, who was the 2008 GOP presidential nominee.
A year ago Trump said McCain was not an American hero because “he got caught.” McCain served in Vietnam, unlike Trump who received four draft deferments, and spent five years in the Hanoi Hilton taking regular beatings to defend his country.
McCain has said he would support the Republican nominee, but does not plan on attending the GOP convention next month. A growing list of his Republican colleagues have said they will not vote for the former reality TV host.
Trump has done little to mend fences with McCain, suggesting he will be defeated this fall.
“Maybe it’s campaign contributions, maybe it’s special interests, maybe it’s lobbyists, but for some reason some people don’t get it and I don’t think they’ll be in office much longer.”
McCain’s primary challenger Dr. Kelli Ward wasted no time turning Trump’s comments into a social media ad:
Ward, an ultra conservative former state senator, has blamed the creation of ISIS not on President Obama, as McCain did last week, but on McCain himself.
If McCain survives the primary in August, and polls show it remarkably tight, he could still go down to defeat in November because of Trump. The Hispanic vote in Arizona is expected to be heavy, and could tip the state blue for the first time in twenty years, helping Democratic candidate Ann Kirkpatrick.
If that happens, McCain’s long political career could come to an end due to the top of the GOP ticket which, despite Trump’s insults, he somehow supports.
McCain’s former chief advisor and speechwriter Mark Salter has endorsed Clinton calling Trump “unfit” for office.