Republicans Call Trump's Khizr Khan Responses Disrespectful To Military Families
Khizr Khan's moving speech about being the patriotic Muslim father of a slain U.S. Army captain was considered by many to be one of the defining moments of the Democratic National Convention. Unsurprisingly, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wasn't pleased with Khan's speech — one that specifically took him to task — and, unsurprisingly, he had a lot to say about it. But his particularly disparaging comments, in which he called out Khan's wife, Ghazala Khan, and suggested she didn't speak at the DNC because she wasn't allowed to according to her Muslim faith, sparked outrage on both sides of party lines. And that outrage is why some Republicans are calling Trump's response to Khizr Khan disrespectful to military families — and, well, disrespectful in general, too.
During his DNC speech, Khan criticized Trump for his desire to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, and emphasized the fact that his own son, a Muslim American immigrant, died while serving his country in Iraq 12 years ago. And in one particularly poignant moment, Khan addressed Trump directly, saying, "you have sacrificed nothing and no one."
Later in the week, Trump responded to Khan's claim during an appearance on ABC's "This Week," arguing that he has made "a lot of sacrifices" as a result of "[working] very, very hard," to create "thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs." He then shifted the focus to Ghazala Khan, and said,
Khizr & Ghazala Khan's story/message make me cry every time I see them. For Trump 2attack them tells me he's missing some basic humanity— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) August 1, 2016
In response to Trump's comment, Ghazala Khan penned an op-ed in The Washington Post, in which she explained that her grief — not her religion — was why she chose not to speak at the DNC, and that Trump's inability to understand that was ignorant:
Her husband then appeared on CNN Sunday, criticizing Trump's comments about Ghazala as arrogant and lacking in empathy. He said,
Mrs. Khan is as eloquent as she is brave. https://t.co/vnVoMteDyl— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) July 31, 2016
Speaking up in support of the Khans, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Sunday, according to CNN, that Trump has hit a new low:
But this time, Democrats aren't the only ones offended by Trump's comments. According to CNN, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham had some choice words for Trump, which he released in a statement:
On Twitter, other Republicans also shared their thoughts on Trump's offensive comments. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who was the last to drop out of the race for the GOP nomination against Trump, wrote,
There's only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honor and respect. Capt. Khan is a hero. Together, we should pray for his family.— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) July 31, 2016
Similarly, Jeb Bush, who also ran against Trump, tweeted, "This is so incredibly disrespectful of a family that endured the ultimate sacrifice for our country."
This is so incredibly disrespectful of a family that endured the ultimate sacrifice for our country. https://t.co/TQcMuwXTKV— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) July 31, 2016
House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement following Trump's comments, according to CNN, rejecting the idea of Muslim ban, and praising Muslim Americans for their military service.:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also released a statement honoring Humayun Khan and his family, and said:
According to The Washington Post, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (who is also the wife of a military veteran) said, “I am appalled that Donald Trump would disparage [the Khans] and that he had the gall to compare his own sacrifices to those of a Gold Star family.” Ayotte released a statement in May saying that she would support Trump as a Republican, but stopped short of officially endorsing him, according to MSNBC.
Similarly, Colorado congressman Mike Coffman, who is a veteran himself, said in a statement: “Having served in Iraq, I’m deeply offended when Donald Trump fails to honor the sacrifices of all of our brave soldiers who were lost in that war.”
And in a statement released Monday, Arizona Sen. John McCain — whom Trump has also criticized in the past, according to CBS News, as not being a war hero because he was captured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam — slammed the GOP candidate for his comments about the Khan family, according to CNN:
McCain to Capt. Khan's parents: "We’re a better country because of you. And you are certainly right; your son was the best of America."— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) August 1, 2016
The uproar about Trump's disrespectful rebuttal to the Khan's speech and subsequent comments certainly appears to be a significant moment in his campaign, and it will definitely be interesting how the controversy will affect his support within his own party. It's hard to believe that Trump could emerge from something so callous and insensitive completely unscathed — but then again, this is certainly not the first time he's made heartless, outrageous remarks, and each time, it seems as though his supporters have continued to remain loyal regardless of the comments coming out of his mouth.