According to the largest newspaper in the caucus state of Iowa Donald Trump should back out of the presidential race and allow more “qualified candidates” to take the lead.
The Des Moines Register editorial board believes Trump’s criticism of establishment stalwart John McCain and his unvarnished remarks on illegal immigration have made him “wholly unqualified to sit in the White House.”
“If he had not already disqualified himself through his attempts to demonize immigrants as rapists and drug dealers, he certainly did so by questioning the war record of John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona,” the newspaper argues.
The presence of Donald Trump threatens “the manner in which we choose our nominees for president,” in other words the way the political elite in America choose nominees.
“By using his considerable wealth, his celebrity status, and his mouth to draw attention to himself, rather than to raise awareness of the issues facing America, he has coarsened our political dialogue and cheapened the electoral process.”
Unlike contenders Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, Trump has not taken campaign money from Goldman Sachs and Wall Street. Bush and Clinton are “viewed across Wall Street as centrists who could cool some of the scorching anti-banker rhetoric and policies emanating from the Elizabeth Warren wing on the left and the tea party movement on the right” and, more recently, from Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders.
Establishment politicians vying for the candidacy are now stepping out of Trump’s shadow to level criticism. A number of them have tweeted their disapproval:
If there was ever any doubt that @realDonaldTrump should not be our commander in chief, this stupid statement should end all doubt.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 18, 2015
Enough with the slanderous attacks. @SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans – particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) July 18, 2015
After Donald Trump spends six years in a POW camp, he can weigh in on John McCain's service
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) July 18, 2015
— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) July 18, 2015
“He’s a jackass,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Republican and former Texas governor Rick Perry criticized “the cancer of Trump-ism” and denounced his remarks on the issues as “a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.”
“Donald Trump should apologize immediately for attacking Senator McCain and all veterans who have protected and served our country,” Perry said on his presidential campaign website.
“As a veteran and an American, I respect Sen. McCain because he volunteered to serve his country. I cannot say the same of Mr. Trump. His comments have reached a new low in American politics. His attack on veterans make him unfit to be Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, and he should immediately withdraw from the race for President.”
Perry, Bush, Graham and Jindal, however, failed to address Trump’s comments about the Vietnam War.
“I was not a big fan of the Vietnam War,” Trump said. “I wasn’t a protester, but the Vietnam War was a disaster for our country… What did we get out of the Vietnam War but death?”