Rep. Kay Granger has a reputation for telling it like she thinks it is , from colleagues who have "no business being in Congress" to fellow Texas Republicans who are "misbehaving" — but she usually does it quietly, preferring behind-the-scenes nudges to soundbite-ready shoves.
But when it comes to Donald Trump, she's not pulling punches. The 2016 GOP presidential contender's remarks questioning whether Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is a war hero prompted Granger to issue what is — for her — a rare public takedown.
In a long and scathing statement released through her political office Tuesday, Granger, the only Republican woman to serve in the Lone Star State's House delegation and the chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, shared with Trump what Joseph Welch famously said to Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1954: "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last have you left no sense of decency?"
"I am going to give you my candid reaction to hearing Trump disparage John McCain's military experience and his support for veterans," Granger said. "I work in the Congress with John McCain and [Rep.] Sam Johnson, who like John McCain was shot down in Vietnam and was a prisoner under hideous conditions, including torture, for years.
"Donald Trump shouldn't even be in the same room with these heroes," she said. "He definitely should not be considered to speak for our nation as our President."
Granger isn't the only Republican to weigh in on Trump's incendiary rhetoric in recent days. Earlier Tuesday, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Trump was wrong to say McCain was not a hero because he was captured during the Vietnam War, adding it "was not the right message."
"[He] is very good at marketing," McCarthy said by way of explanation as to why Trump is currently leading the pack of competitors.
In contrast, Granger rejected entirely the premise that Trump has the capacity to be a good salesman of anything, let alone for the American brand, which she argued has been damaged abroad during President Barack Obama's tenure.
"In my experience in foreign operations I have seen the damage that can be done when we have a leader who is not able to bring people together. I see sharply the lack of credibility we now have in the world," said Granger. "Don't misunderstand me: We do not need other countries to like us, but we do need them to respect us.
"We need a president who will represent us to the world and will bring us together," she continued. "The last thing we need is someone like Donald Trump who is divisive and disrespectful."
Read her full statement, provided to CQ Roll Call, below:
Politics is a rough game and that is how it should be. That said, even in the roughest of games there are lines that should not be crossed. Donald Trump crossed one of those lines. It was disgusting for him to call John McCain, who is a war hero, a “loser.” This was not only an attack on John McCain, but also on every American who has served or currently serves in the military.
Donald Trump can question what John McCain may say or do or the policy stands that he takes. He cannot say that a U.S. serviceman who was shot down by an enemy of the United States and spent six years in horrific and inhumane conditions in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp is not an American Hero. As Joseph Welch, the head counsel for the U.S. Army, famously said to Sen. Joseph McCarthy “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
I understand the support for candidates who will "tell it like it is" like Trump is seen by many as doing, so I am going to give you my candid reaction to hearing Trump disparage John McCain's military experience and his support for veterans.
All who serve in the U.S military are my heroes. They risk their lives for our safety. Their families also make enormous sacrifices for our nation. Their spouses take greater burdens upon their shoulders and their children are deprived of time with their father or mother. These sacrifices often receive very little recognition
I work in the Congress with John McCain and Sam Johnson, who like John McCain was shot down in Vietnam and was a prisoner under hideous conditions, including torture, for years. I know both of these men personally and respect their decades of work to keep America safe, and support America’s troops and veterans. Donald Trump shouldn't even be in the same room with these heroes. He definitely should not be considered to speak for our nation as our President.
Let me tell you how I am deciding who I will support for President of the United States in these intensely dangerous times. From the time I was elected to serve in Congress I have focused on our ability to keep this nation safe both at home and abroad. Military experience is important to me, particularly at a time when only 25 percent of the Congress has this experience. While others were reticent to criticize Trump, Rick Perry and Lindsay Graham spoke passionately about what Trump said about John McCain. That is because they both served in the military and have time after time stood up for our troops, never hesitating.
For our next president, we need someone who has a track record of success. Jeb Bush was an excellent governor of Florida. He took strong conservative stands as did our governor Perry. I want to know what candidates have done, not just what they want to do. Having served as mayor of Fort Worth through some very challenging times, I know that to make difficult changes, you need to be able to bring people together.
In my experience in foreign operations I have seen the damage that can be done when we have a leader who is not able to bring people together. I see sharply the lack of credibility we now have in the world. Even our longtime ally Israel has lost its trust that we will stand behind them. As I travel in my capacity as Chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, I have been told by world leaders time and time again that this administration has almost destroyed their ability to support or even understand our foreign policy.
You have to understand the danger we have put ourselves in when we have lost our international support and respect for our world leadership. Don't misunderstand me: we do not need other countries to like us, but we do need them to respect us. Much of that had been lost. The person we choose for our next President must have the gravitas to reestablish that. That takes experience, a depth of understanding and steadiness.
If you consider supporting Donald Trump, take the time to research both his current positions and the positions he has taken in the past when he was registered Democrat. After years of saying he was staunchly pro-choice, he now says he is pro-life. After year of calling for the legalization marijuana, he is now opposed to legalization.
Last, consider what Trump said about our neighbor Mexico. He called all Mexicans who cross our borders “criminals” and specifically “rapists.” We need to stem the tide of illegal immigration, but it is cruel and simply a lie to denigrate the desperate people illegally crossing the borders. Furthermore, it does nothing to solve the problem of illegal immigration.
We need a president who will represent us to the world and will bring us together. The last thing we need is someone like Donald Trump is who is divisive and disrespectful. Disrespect does not bring respect. Trump’s disparaging statements about John McCain and cruel statements about Mexico clearly show that he is not the one to represent our country on the world stage.