Senator John McCain sharply criticized Donald J. Trump’s comments about the family of a fallen Muslim Army captain on Monday, a rebuke that provided an opening for other vulnerable Republican senators to do the same, even though they all stopped short of rescinding their endorsements of him.
“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,” Mr. McCain, a war hero whose service and capture in Vietnam were also once derided by Mr. Trump, said in a remarkable and lengthy written reproach of his party’s presidential nominee.
Within an hour, other embattled Republican senators, who like Mr. McCain are trying to stand between the forces propelling Mr. Trump and those he offends, offered their own condemnations.
They were soon joined by President Obama, who chastised Mr. Trump without naming him, and the head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Brian Duffy. Mr. Duffy said his organization would not “tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression.”
Senator Kelly Ayotte, Republican of New Hampshire, whose husband is a veteran of the Iraq war and who is fighting to win a second term, said Monday that she was “appalled” by Mr. Trump’s comments. A spokeswoman for Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, also weighed in, as did Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. They denounced Mr. Trump’s words but did not reverse their endorsements.
Read more at The New York Times.