Sen. Marco Rubio said on Sunday that Donald Trump insulted not just Sen. John McCain but all POWs when he questioned whether McCain should be considered a war hero given that he was captured.
On Saturday, Trump caused an uproar when he said of McCain, "He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."
But appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper, Rubio said, "This is not just an insult to John McCain, who clearly is a war hero and a great man. But it is an insult to all POWs, to all men and women who have served us in uniform, who have been captured in battle and this somehow makes the assumption, or he's saying that somehow if you're captured in battle you're less worthy of honors than someone who isn't. It's not just absurd, it's offensive, it's ridiculous, and I do think it is a disqualifier as commander in chief."
Asked about criticisms from Democrats that Republicans were quick to condemn Trump when he attacked McCain, but slower when his target was Mexican immigrants, Rubio pushed back. He noted that he had criticized Trump's earlier remarks about Mexicans, but argued that Trump's standing in the race has changed since then and signaled that Republicans will now be more aggressive in targeting Trump.
"We have to remember this is a man who's spent his whole life saying outrageous things, so early in his campaign when he said something outrageous, people kind of said, 'Just ignore it, move on and it will go away. This is what he does for a living,' " Rubio said. "Now, as this has gone forward and he has become a more covered candidate and people pay more attention to him, it's required people to me more forceful in some of these offensive things that he is saying."