Dec 29, 2015 12:34 AM
Steinhauser: Trump slams Union Leader publisher, vows to protect NH's primary status
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
NASHUA – Hours after the Granite State’s largest and most politically influential newspaper described Donald Trump as a “crude blowhard,” the Republican Presidential front runner returned fire, calling the New Hampshire Union Leader a “pile of garbage” and it’s publisher Joseph McQuaid “a low life.”
The fireworks began earlier in the day, when McQuaid published a front page editorial with the headline “Trump campaign insults NH voters’ intelligence.”
Trump can certainly be an entertaining character,” wrote McQuid, “but his public descent into bathroom humor and verbal bullying has been painful, and educational, to watch.”
McQuaid went on to say that Trump has “no clear political philosophy and no deeper understanding of the important and serious role of President of the United States than one of the goons he lets rough up protesters in his crowds.”
And he compared Trump to “Biff,” the block-headed bully from the “Back to the Future” movies.
Monday evening, at a rally at Pennichuck Middle School in Nashua, Trump responded, telling the crowd of around 1,000 that “you have a very dishonest newspaper up here. It’s also a failing newspaper. It’s going down the tubes.”
While the Union Leader’s circulation has declined in recent years, its conservative editorial page remains very influential in Republican Party circles, and its endorsement was sought by many of the GOP presidential candidates.
Last month McQuaid endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the Republican nomination.
Trump spent several minutes detailing his interactions this year with McQuaid, saying at first he thought the publisher was an aggressive guy who “called me. He talked to me.”
Trump said McQuaid asked him to do many things, from helping the family of James Foley, the New Hampshire born journalist who was beheaded by ISIS, to playing golf with him in New Hampshire.
Then Trump criticized McQuaid's move to host a GOP presidential forum in August at Saint Anselm College, one night before the first Republican presidential debate in Cleveland.
While Trump said "very few people went,” in fact most of the GOP field either showed up in person at the forum, or took part via satellite.
Trump also said that McQuaid had vowed not to endorse Christie because the New Jersey governor embraced President Barack Obama when the president traveled to the Garden State right after Hurricane Sandy struck in the days leading up to the 2012 presidential election.
Trump called McQuaid Christie’s “lap dog.”
And he fired away at Christie over the state of New Jersey’s economy, saying “it’s a disaster. I have property in New Jersey. Taxes are through the roof.”
Trump made similar attacks on McQuaid and Christie earlier in the day in a phone interview with WMUR-TV. A few hours later, talking with MSNBC, McQuaid said “the reaction doesn’t surprise me at all.”
McQuaid added that Trump’s attacks were “long overdue. I’ve been awaiting something like this since we endorsed Gov. Christie.”
The Christie campaign declined to comment on Trump’s attacks.
Trump vows to protect NH’s #FITN status
As he does at every rally, Trump boasted about his standing public opinion surveys, saying “the polls have been fantastic.”
He then went into a litany of poll results which indicate Trump with a large lead, before explaining that “they always say, ‘why do you go through the polls?’ Because I’m winning.”
Trump also attacked former front runner Jeb Bush over the vast amount of money a super PAC supporting Bush has spent on ads, some of which criticize Trump.
“I’ve spent essentially nothing and Bush has spent 59 million. He’s down at the bottom, at three percent, two percent.”
Trump then went on to say that Bush started out “next to me” on the debate stage, but that Bush is now “falling off the stage.”
Trump also vowed to protect New Hampshire’s threatened status as the first-in-the-nation primary state.
“There’s a big movement to put you at the back of the pack, or the middle of the pack,” Trump said.
“New Hampshire will always maintain its place if I win,” he added.
But Trump, near the end of his nearly hour long speech, briefly botched the date of the primary, saying that voting was “on February 8th? Ninth?”
Supporters quickly shouted back “ninth.”