"I will say what I want to say, and maybe that’s why I’m leading in the polls because people are tired of hearing politicians and pollsters telling the politicians exactly what to say," Trump told Raddatz.
The fact is that apologizing after a comment judged as ill-advised (at best) by most politicians is exact opposite of the Trump brand. The sort of people who misspeak and then try to clean up their messes are the very people that Trump derides -- and that he believes the public can't stand either.
Even as Trump was refusing to apologize, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley was in the midst of the misspeak-apology cycle. In response to demonstrators at a liberal gathering in Phoenix demanding that O'Malley address police brutality and chanting "black lives matter, O'Malley said "Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter." He later apologized; "That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect," he said. "I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue."
Now, simply because Trump won't pull the full O'Malley doesn't mean that he isn't trying to revise history a bit. In the Raddatz interview, he blames the media for not picking up the entirety of his remarks, robbing them of the context in which he described McCain as a "hero." And, he insists that what he was really saying was that those who are not captured during war time deserve as much credit and attention as those, like McCain, who have been captured. Which is absolutely fine. But is also not really what Trump said.
Regardless, when impugning a recognized war hero, most politicians would have apologized totally and completely seconds after they stepped off the stage. And, it's possible that a comment like the one Trump made about McCain might end -- or at least badly cripple -- a more traditional presidential bid.
And, who knows -- it might wind up doing so for Trump too. But, if past is prologue for Trump and what people like about him, the McCain comments seem unlikely to be the end of the line. Remember that Trump's appeal is rooted in a sort of "we're Americans, we don't apologize" mentality. He presents himself and by extension the country as the sort of person who says what he thinks -- consequences be damned. Trump speaks, dares you to be offended and then shrugs it off when/if you are.
So, no, we shouldn't expect Donald Trump to apologize for what he said about McCain. Or, really, ever. Don't like it? Tough.