- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader predicted Tuesday that GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump will get beaten “soundly” for the party’s nomination once the state’s first-in-the-nation primary contest helps winnow the 2016 Republican field.

Extending a nasty feud between the billionaire developer and the state’s leading newspaper, Union Leader Publisher Joseph McQuaid, said he thinks the polls are “pretty much bunk,” pointing out that they were wrongly predicting a victory for President Obama over Hillary Clinton in the state in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary contest.

“I said in the editorial that the great majority of New Hampshire Republicans would repudiate Trump, and that will be true,” Mr. McQuaid said on MSNBC. “He may come in first with his very hard-core supporters. And then what’s going to happen is the others are going to shake out, New Hampshire is going to winnow the field — not Fox, not you guys deciding who gets on the main stage.”

“And [there will] be fewer people, and one of them will take on Trump and, I’m sure, beat him soundly for the Republican nomination,” he said. “So, not to worry.”

Mr. Trump spent a good portion of an event Monday evening in New Hampshire going after Mr. McQuaid and the Union Leader, which ran the editorial this week under Mr. McQuaid’s byline that likened Mr. Trump to Biff Tannen, the loudmouthed bully character in the “Back to the Future” films.

Mr. McQuaid, whom Mr. Trump at one point Monday called a “lowlife,” said there’s been a mixed reaction to the piece in the state.

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“There are some Trump supporters — most of them appear to have commented online under the editorial and said we were some sort of dog excrement, which was kind of nice,” he said. “But we’ve also [gotten] quite a bit of support, summed up in, ‘It’s about time somebody called this guy out.’”

Mr. Trump said Monday the first time he met with Mr. McQuaid, the publisher said he would “never” endorse New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, which the paper ultimately did.

“And the reason he said that — he hated that Christie embraced Obama so strongly before the election, right before the election,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Asked if there was any truth to that, Mr. McQuaid said: “Absolutely none.”

“The guy makes stuff up as he goes along,” he said, noting the paper subsequently did endorse Mr. Christie. “And some of my readers said, you can’t do that. He endorsed Obama. He endorsed Obama after Obama and the feds came in with help, as they should, after a hurricane in New Jersey.”

“I never ruled out Christie for any reason, obviously, because we endorsed him,” Mr. McQuaid said.

Mr. Trump also said Mr. McQuaid was upset after Mr. Trump declined participate in a voter forum before the first GOP presidential debate in August in Cleveland

“As a matter of fact, we mentioned in this morning’s paper two letters that he sent: one was just before the event in which he said he had a great business sense and his sense was that we weren’t going to endorse him, and therefore he wasn’t going to do our event,” Mr. McQuaid said Tuesday. “Well, he was right about that, he had a good sense — we didn’t endorse him.”

“But a day after the event, and I’m paraphrasing here, but he said pretty much, ‘Dear Joe, your event sucked. Everybody said so. They said I was really smart not to do it, and by the way, when you get around to it, please endorse me,’” he said.

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