In what has become an almost predictable cycle—Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes a ridiculous, insulting comment, and he is condemned by Democrats, some Republicans, the press and social media. And then he backtracks. See the Russia/Putin/Hillary Clinton/Democratic National Committee email-hack debacle for a recent example.
This time, sensing that lawyer Khizr Khan got the best of him during his searing Democratic National Convention speech, Trump struck again. When the compelling Muslim American spoke onstage Thursday of the sacrifice his son, Capt. Humayun Khan, made by dying in Iraq in 2004—and also pointedly asking what sacrifice Trump ever made—the Republican presidential candidate had the nerve not only to say that he’s made “a lot of sacrifices” but then to go on to insult Khan’s wife, Ghazala, insinuating that she did not speak onstage because Muslim women aren’t allowed to.
“Who wrote that? Did Hillary’s scriptwriters write it?” Trump said in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard.”
He added, “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.” (By the way, Ghazala did speak in subsequent interviews and said she did not say anything because she was too broken up to speak about her dead son.)
And then Trump tried to (kinda) clean it up by saying Khan “was, you know, very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me.”
All hell then broke loose, not only because Trump once again insulted Muslims, and Muslim women specifically, but because this particular Muslim woman is a “Gold Star Mother”—a woman who has lost a child defending our country. There is nothing more sacrosanct to politicians and patriotic Americans.
Democrats predictably weighed in against the candidate’s comments, but this time, some Republicans, including Ohio Gov., and former Republican presidential candidate, John Kasich, also came down on the Donald. “There’s only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honor and respect,” Kasich tweeted. “Capt. Khan is a hero. Together, we should pray for his family.”
Meghan McCain, daughter of former Republican candidate John McCain, followed up by calling Trump a “barbarian”:
But it was regular ole folks (and some celebs thrown in for good measure) who were perhaps the funniest. With the hashtag #TrumpSacrifices, which continued to trend on Sunday, Tweeters sarcastically outlined what Trump has “sacrificed” for America.