WASHINGTON – Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s candidate for the White House, is drawing criticism left and right over his offensive remarks against the Muslim Pakistani parents of a slain US soldier, with many analysts and political pundits saying the real-estate tycoon has gone too far with his belligerent and aggressive attitude this time.
The row continues to dominate the US media and has even overshadowed the presidential campaign itself. The spat which erupted after Mr. Khizar Khan severely criticized Trump in his speech at the Democratic Party convention to nominate Hillary Clinton as the party’s candidate against Trump.
Mr. Khan, whose son, Captain Humanyun Khan, was killed in a suicide attack in Iraq in 2004, asked Muslims in the US not to vote for Trump who had suggested that all Muslims should be banned from entering the United States. Mr. Khan even offered a copy of the Constitution to Mr. Trump, suggesting that the presidential candidate might not have read it.
Soon after the Democratic convention, Trump lashed back at the family and questioned why the mother, Ghazala, stood by silently and did not speak about her son, suggesting that she “wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”
His belittling of the mother of the slain soldier and the intense reaction it attracted has been featured on the front page of almost all the newspapers for a fifth consecutive day. TV channels have also been airing the news repeatedly.
Trump has insulted his opponents in all ways but analysts say his remarks about the Khan family could create a major challenge for him. He has drawn criticism for the remarks from his own party too.
“Nobody minds when he attacks other politicians; in fact, they like it. He’s instilling an ¬accountability that doesn’t exist. But they don’t like it when he goes after real people, and they wish he would stop,” a report in the Washington Post quoted Republican Party’s pollster Frank Luntz as saying.
According to the report, initial signs suggest the row with the Khan’s had hurt Trump. A survey conducted after the row showed that the whole affair was working to Clinton’s advantage who led 52 percent to 43 percent in a CNN-ORC survey and 47 percent to 41 percent in CBS news survey.
Many leading party leaders stayed away from the Republican party convention held earlier this month in which Trump was nominated as the party’s candidate against Clinton.
A leading Republican Senator John McCain criticized Trump’s remarks against the family. “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, was quoted as saying by a report in the New York Times.
Soon after McCain’s criticism, many other party Senators also lambasted Trump for his remarks against the family.