Of Donald Trump one thing is certain: He’s hard to ignore. The current frontrunner among GOP presidential candidates today suggested Sen. John McCain was not a real war hero “because he was captured.” Speaking at a conference of religious conservatives in Iowa, Trump was pressed on his description earlier this week of McCain as “a dummy.”

The Family Leadership Summit moderator, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, described McCain as “a war hero.” Trump replied that McCain “is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” McCain, the GOP’s nominee for president in 2008, was held for five and a half years as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down in Vietnam.

Confronted by the swift backlash from other Republicans, Trump attempted to clarify his remarks: “If a person is captured, they’re a hero as far as I’m concerned. I don’t like the job John McCain is doing in the Senate because he is not taking care of our veterans.” Trump also admitted “I was not a big fan of the Vietnam war” and said he avoided service in the war through student deferments and a medical deferment, but he was not a protester.

Rupert Murdoch, who’s not known for mincing words on Twitter weighed in this afternoon:

Mitt Romney, the GOP’s nominee for president in 2012, posted what may be the best tweet yet about Trump:

Several of Trump’s rivals for the 2016 Republican nomination for president were quick to jump on his remarks about McCain. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose tweets were quite pointed, called for Trump to withdraw from the campaign.

 

Perry also issued a statement from Austin. “Donald Trump should apologize immediately for attacking Senator McCain and all veterans who have protected and served our country. 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.”

And Meghan McCain, the senator’s daughter who is joining Fox News Channel as a contributor, tweeted: