You owe all POW'S an explanation. You must apologize and tell them that you didn't mean what you seemed to say equating those who suffered the worst of war--captured and abused by the enemy--to a kind of second-rate GI.
Tell us please my old TV boss that it was all a bad joke; that you lost your temper and never intended to insult John McCain's noble service to his country.
A brave Naval aviator, shot down, five years a slave to abuse and isolation in a rotten North Vietnamese torture chamber, Senator McCain is the epitome of a hero.
Whether you disagree with the man's statements or politics, his service should be sacred, especially to someone who never served.
I don't want to pile on, but consider the impact of your words on the other former POW'S who sacrificed so much fighting America's wars. They are justly revered.
You must say that you never intended so terrible and insulting a distinction between warriors captured or uncaptured.
Don't let your pride destroy your dream. This is worse than your sloppy statement about Mexican immigrants. Then you could wrap your stereotyping in Kate's murder and El Chapo's escape and count on the support of nativists and xenophobes and cable pundits and polemicists opposed to immigration reform.
Here, as you are painfully discovering, there is no constituency to support this obscene notion that John McCain is no hero because he was captured.
Apologize for your misstatements.
If, on the other hand, you meant them, that stuff about not considering POW'S heroes, and branding Mexican immigrants rapists, then the intense political fallout and severe damage to your presidential aspirations will be the least of the consequences.
If that is the case, that you stand by these remarks, then aside from embarrassing your loyal friends, you have put your legacy and reputation in jeopardy.