Early Monday morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) released an eloquent and stirring letter offering support to Khizr and Ghazala Khan while repudiating the comments made about them by Donald Trump. The 2008 Republican Presidential nominee went further with his statement than Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell did in theirs in terms of slamming the GOP standard-bearer for stoking a feud with the family.
“I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers, or candidates…While our Party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.”
The former POW, who himself was disparaged by Trump over his service to this country, paid tribute to the Khans’ son, Capt. Humayan Khan, who was killed by a suicide bomber in 2004 while serving in the Iraq War. He wrote at length about Capt. Khan’s sacrifice to his nation and how America was a better place because the Khans had immigrated here. He pointed out how much he disagreed with Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, which would have prevented the Khan family from coming to the United States years ago.
And he did not rescind his endorsement of Trump for President of the United States, thus making everything he wrote moot.
Just like all of the times Ryan and McConnell condemn a particularly heinous comment or action by the real estate mogul but maintain their support for him, McCain’s criticism is completely toothless as long as he continues to endorse the man for the White House. Why should we, and why should Trump, take anything McCain or other GOPers say seriously regarding Trump’s behavior when, in the end, they’ll just line up behind him?
It is sort of like what we’ve seen from Marco Rubio. During the Republican primary, during Rubio’s last few weeks in the race before dropping out, he went hard after The Donald, telling voters that we can’t trust a man like him with the nuclear codes, that his erratic behavior was disqualifying. Yet, months later, here’s Lil’ Marco, hat in hand, saying we need to do everything possible to get Trump elected.
Until guys like McCain, Ryan and McConnell publicly take back their support for Trump as POTUS, nothing they say or do means shit when it comes to criticizing the former reality TV star.