Republicans running for president are hurting their party's general election chances by attacking each others' character, Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, said Sunday.
"If we disparage each other and impugn the character of each other , then after the primary is over, then obviously there's a trust and support deficit amongst the American people," McCain said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union.
McCain said he isn't utopian, and has "always believed that a fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed." But he added that candidates should look at how Ronald Reagan ran his campaigns.
"We can fight like blazes with each other where we disagree. But to impugn each other's characters and integrity is very harmful to each other, ourselves and our chances of winning a general election," he said.
One area of McCain's own disagreement with one of the candidates is Syria.
Front-runner Donald Trump said last week he welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin's moves into Syria to take on the Islamic State (ISIS.)
The White House has said Russian strikes have actually hit members of the Free Syrian Army, with whom the United States is allied, an not ISIS.
McCain told CNN that Trump's position shows he doesn't understand the situation.
"As far as other members of my party are concerned, that all I can say is, I know the realities. I've been there for years," McCain said.
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