Lindsey Graham: Donald Trump is a ‘jackass’

Updated 8:33 PM EDT, Tue July 21, 2015
senator lindsey graham donald trump bolduan intv erin_00001130.jpg
senator lindsey graham donald trump bolduan intv erin_00001130.jpg
Now playing
04:25
Sen. Lindsey Graham: Donald Trump is a 'jackass'
CNN
Now playing
01:21
Lindsey Graham: Donald Trump has 'conned' Republicans
CNN
Now playing
01:36
Lindsey Graham: 2016 election 'a race to the bottom'
(Left to right) U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) listen as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on January 28, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
(Left to right) U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) listen as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on January 28, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
Now playing
01:11
Watch Lindsey Graham go from hating to supporting Ted Cruz
DES MOINES, IA - OCTOBER 31: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)  speaks at the Growth and Opportunity Party, at the Iowa State Fair October 31, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
Steve Pope/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - OCTOBER 31: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks at the Growth and Opportunity Party, at the Iowa State Fair October 31, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:29
Lindsey Graham: 'Pro-life' platform will be a hard sell
CNN
Now playing
00:49
Ted Cruz 's foreign policy 'as wrong as Obama's'
lindsey graham jeb bush endorsement nr_00000707.jpg
WCIV
lindsey graham jeb bush endorsement nr_00000707.jpg
Now playing
02:26
Lindsey Graham endorses Jeb Bush
lindsey graham suspends presidential campaign_00002120.jpg
lindsey graham suspends presidential campaign_00002120.jpg
Now playing
00:21
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham suspends presidential campaign
Now playing
02:25
Sen. Graham: West not showing resolve in ISIS fight
graham unhealthy obama hatred newday_00001316.jpg
CNN
graham unhealthy obama hatred newday_00001316.jpg
Now playing
00:52
Graham calls out GOP's 'unhealthy' dislike of Obama
The PostTape with Lindsey Graham and Kate Bolduan_00020809.jpg
The PostTape with Lindsey Graham and Kate Bolduan_00020809.jpg
Now playing
02:36
Kate Bolduan puts Lindsey Graham in the hot seat
lindsey graham cnn gop debate i miss george w bush sot_00004616.jpg
lindsey graham cnn gop debate i miss george w bush sot_00004616.jpg
Now playing
00:47
Sen. Lindsey Graham: 'I miss George W. Bush'
lindsey graham donald trump xenophobic bigot interview newday_00005811.jpg
lindsey graham donald trump xenophobic bigot interview newday_00005811.jpg
Now playing
03:34
Graham: Trump is a 'race-baiting, xenophobic' bigot (2015)
john mccain lindsey graham paris isis intv newday_00021005.jpg
CNN
john mccain lindsey graham paris isis intv newday_00021005.jpg
Now playing
04:57
John McCain: 'ISIS is not invincible'
senator lindsey graham paris terror attacks tapper intv sotu_00005009.jpg
senator lindsey graham paris terror attacks tapper intv sotu_00005009.jpg
Now playing
01:58
Sen. Graham: The worst is yet to come with ISIS
Lindsey Graham Date Marry Disappear Election 2016 AR ORIGWX_00000000.jpg
Lindsey Graham Date Marry Disappear Election 2016 AR ORIGWX_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:44
Who would Lindsey Graham date, marry or make disappear?
Senator Lindsey Graham Zingers GOP debate mss orig_00004217.jpg
Senator Lindsey Graham Zingers GOP debate mss orig_00004217.jpg
Now playing
01:07
Lindsey Graham: Master of the zinger?
donald trump car wreck lindsey graham intv tsr_00012018.jpg
IJReview.com
donald trump car wreck lindsey graham intv tsr_00012018.jpg
Now playing
01:40
The stunt video arms race
Surrounded by supporters waving signs and flags, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announces his candidacy for United States President during an outdoor event on June 1, 2015 in Central, South Carolina. Graham is the ninth Republican to join the race for president in 2016.
Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images
Surrounded by supporters waving signs and flags, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announces his candidacy for United States President during an outdoor event on June 1, 2015 in Central, South Carolina. Graham is the ninth Republican to join the race for president in 2016.
Now playing
02:09
Who is Lindsey Graham?
Tallahassee, Florida CNN —  

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a 2016 candidate and close friend of Arizona Sen. John McCain, called businessman Donald Trump “a jackass” on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Monday.

“What he said about John, I think, was offensive. He’s becoming a jackass at a time when we need to have a serious debate about the future of the party and the country,” Graham told CNN’s Kate Bolduan. “This is a line he’s crossed, and this is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump … I am really pissed.”

On Saturday, Trump – at a GOP political event in Iowa – said McCain was “not a war hero.”

“He is a war hero because he was captured,” Trump added. “I like people that weren’t captured, OK? I hate to tell you. He is a war hero because he was captured. OK, you can have – I believe perhaps he is a war hero.”

Bipartisan elected officials from the White House all the way to the wide open Republican primary field are using incendiary comments from Trump to praise former prisoner-of-war McCain.

Touting record as reformer, Jeb Bush aims to conquer ‘Mt. Washington’

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush broke from his prepared remarks of a policy speech Monday to declare that McCain is a “real hero,” as Donald Trump insists that he owes no apology to McCain for questioning the Arizona senator’s military heroism.

Trump, who’s experienced a bump in the polls since announcing his presidential bid last month, is known for his unfiltered rhetoric, but the comments made at an Iowa voter forum from over the weekend drew immediate and near universal rebuke from other elected officials and candidates.

Making his pitch for reforming Washington, Bush said Monday in Tallahassee that he supports a proposal by McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, to change the defense procurement process.

When Bush mentioned McCain’s name, he interjected to describe the former GOP presidential nominee as “a real hero, by the way.” The audience, largely comprised of his former associates from his days as governor, broke out into huge applause.

Shortly after Bush’s comments, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that despite the difference between President Barack Obama and his former campaign rival McCain, “have not reduced (Obama’s) appreciation for Sen. McCain’s remarkable service to the country,” adding Obama had “deep respect for Sen. McCain’s heroism.”

White House: ‘No denying’ McCain a hero

Responding for the first time himself, McCain said Monday morning that he didn’t feel Trump owed him an apology, suggesting instead the billionaire real estate developer apologize to American veterans.

“… I think he may owe an apology to the families of those who have sacrificed in conflict and those who have undergone the prison experience in serving our country,” McCain told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”.

Bush was quick to defend McCain on Twitter on Saturday, when Trump stirred controversy by saying McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured.

“Enough with the slanderous attacks. @SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans - particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration,” he tweeted.

And Bush was by no means the only 2016 candidate condemning Trump’s comments. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, as well as Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham condemned the remarks.

“It’s not just absurd, it’s offensive” Rubio said in an interview Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “It’s ridiculous. And I do think it’s a disqualifier as commander-in-chief.”

CNN’s Tom Lobianco, Kevin Liptak and Theodore Schleifer contributed to this report.