A poll of Iowa Republicans has suggested that Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Sen. John McCain Saturday have not resulted in his losing any support.
Trump provoked criticism from fellow presidential hopefuls after his remark that McCain, who served in Vietnam and was held as a prisoner of war for over five years, was “not a war hero.”
“He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump added, according to The Guardian.
Daily Mail reported that Monmouth University was halfway through polling for its latest survey when Trump made his comments. The candidate received support from 13 percent of voters on Thursday and Friday, and the tally stayed unchanged through Saturday and Sunday.
McCain reacted Monday by urging Trump to apologize to military families.
“There’s so many men and some women who served and sacrificed and happened to be held prisoner,” McCain told MSNBC, according to The Guardian. “And somehow to denigrate that in any way, their service, I think is offensive to most of our veterans.”
But Trump insists his remark was taken out of context.
“We talk about John McCain, and I think it's great, and he is a very brave man and all of that,” Trump said on the Today show. “But we don’t talk about the people that weren’t captured, and that’s what I was trying to refer to, and I think I did.”
Tensions between McCain and Trump are not new. McCain previously accused the Republican presidential candidate of encouraging “the crazies” within the party due to comments Trump made at an Arizona rally, which many felt were anti-immigrant.
Trump’s poll result means that he continues to hold on to second place among Iowans who plan to vote in the Republican primary. He trails Scott Walker by 9 percent, who led the poll with the support of 22 percent.
“When I left the room, it was a total standing ovation,” Trump said on Sunday of his speech the previous day. “It was wonderful to see; nobody was insulted. I will say what I want to say.”