McCain: Trump Still Needs to Retract POW Comments
But he thinks it's time for GOP leaders to support him
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2016 1:46 AM CDT
Donald Trump is confronted by a veteran during a campaign stop in Ohio last month.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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(Newser) – John McCain, unlike some other leading Republicans, can accept Donald Trump as the party's nominee—but there's still the matter of those POW comments. McCain tells CNN that he will support Trump, but before he will appear on a stage with the candidate, who joked last year that he preferred war heroes "who weren't captured," Trump needs to "express his appreciation" for "veterans who were incarcerated as prisoners of war." "I'd like to see him retract that statement. Not about me, but about the others," says McCain, who was tortured during the six years he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He says Trump offended a "body of American heroes" with the remarks last year, the New York Times notes.

McCain did, however, say that other party leaders should also support Trump because, like him or not, he is the choice of GOP voters. "You have to listen to people that have chosen the nominee of our Republican Party," he says. "I think it would be foolish to ignore them." McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he aims to steer Trump toward a foreign policy that resembles that of Ronald Reagan—and he believes Trump could be a "capable leader," though probably not on a par with Reagan. (Out of the other four living GOP nominees for president, both Bushes have declined to support Trump, Bob Dole endorsed him on Friday, and Mitt Romney not only doesn't consider him a Republican, he might still be open to running against him.)