By Mark Fitton
Illinois News Network
SPRINGFIELD — The state may be without a budget three weeks into the new fiscal year, but two state representatives took a few minutes Tuesday to air their thoughts on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
And Trump took a shot from each side of the aisle in the Illinois House.
Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, started the discussion with a succinct point: “I just want people to know that I hate Donald Trump.”
Franks said he found Trump’s earlier remarks about Mexicans who illegally crossed the U.S. border “racist, xenophobic chants” and found his comments about U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., equally “obnoxious and ridiculous.”
“The silence when a cretin like this gets up and talks and is not beaten down by those who want (to lead the country) really concerns me,’ Franks said. “We might disagree on policies, but we shouldn’t give up on our human decency and respect that we have for each other.”
Republican Rep. David Harris of Arlington Heights, a 33-year veteran who retired from the military as a major general in the Illinois National Guard, concurred.
“We ought to slap (Trump’s) ass in a fighter jet, send him up over enemy territory, have him get shot down, spend five and a half years in the Hanoi Hilton (while) suffering deprivation, suffering torture and let him find out what it is to be hero,” Harris said.
The criticism follows Trump’s exchange with Republican pollster Frank Luntz over the weekend.
Appearing at a Republican forum, Trump at first said McCain was not a war hero but then said, “He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”
Trump, according to the Associated Press, later declined to apologize but did say, “If a person is captured, they’re a hero as far as I’m concerned. … But you have to do other things also. I don’t like the job John McCain is doing in the Senate because he is not taking care of our veterans.”
McCain, a third-generation Navy man and Annapolis graduate, was flying an A-4 Skyhawk when shot down over Hanoi in October 1967. The North Vietnamese held him as a prisoner of war until March 1973.
McCain, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, has said he may not be owed an apology but Trump should consider apologizing to the families of POWs and others who have served and sacrificed.