Trump Insults Gold Star Parents. Why Are N.C. Republicans Standing with Him? | Triangulator | Indy Week
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Trump Insults Gold Star Parents. Why Are N.C. Republicans Standing with Him? 

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Khizr Khan's speech was by far most poignant moment of last week's Democratic National Convention. In it, he paid tribute to his fallen son, Captain Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq in 2004. More pointedly, he called out Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigration. "You have sacrificed nothing and no one," Khan said, offering Trump his pocket Constitution in case he needed to bone up on it.

Trump, of course, took a grieving father's criticism entirely in stride.

"Mr. Kahn, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same—Nice!" Trump tweeted.

Then: "This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!"

Then, in an interview with ABC News, Trump accused Khan of having Democrats write his speech for him, criticized Khan's wife for not speaking, and said, "I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard."

Across the country, top Republican officials—Senator John McCain, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell among them—raced to distance themselves from Trump, though they didn't rescind their endorsements. That's not quite a profile in courage, but it's better than what we've gotten from some North Carolina Republicans.

Which is: nothing. No statements, no tweets, no Facebook posts from Governor McCrory, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, and the state GOP. None of them would return our calls, either. Neither did Senator Richard Burr, but he did give this statement to The Wall Street Journal: "The parents and siblings of our fallen service members deserve the utmost respect—period—and the sacrifice made by their loved ones will never be forgotten. Captain Khan is an American hero in every sense of the term, and the Khans deserve our sincerest gratitude."

But he's still backing the guy who insulted them.

"If these antics haven't [turned Republicans away], I'm not sure anything will," says Dave Miranda, communications director for the N.C. Democratic Party.

That's an interesting question, indeed: If insulting Gold Star parents doesn't do the trick, what exactly would Trump have to do for McCrory and company to abandon him? Strangle a kitten on live television?

triangulator@indyweek.com

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