- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that up to 20 percent of reporters go out of their way to distort the truth about him, as he launched a wide-ranging critique of his fellow GOP presidential candidates, the press, Democrats’ debate and his own campaign spending.

He called Sen. Bernard Sanders, the insurgent Democratic candidate, a “socialist-slash-communist,” and said former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has hurt herself by having to chase after Mr. Sanders.

“I watched the poor woman, she’s got to give everything away because this maniac that was standing on her right is giving everything away, so she’s following,” Mr. Trump said at a rally in Richmond, a day after the Democrats’ debate featured the candidates chasing ever further to the political left.

Mr. Trump also said Democrats were trying to protect Mrs. Clinton from damage over her emails, but said they were making a political mistake in not pursuing the issue with her.

“She is being totally protected by the Democrats because what she did is illegal,” Mr. Trump said, adding that former Gen. David Petraeus was prosecuted for doing “5 percent of what she did.”

While firing in all directions, Mr. Trump director some of his harshest barbs at reporters.

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He said some 30 percent of them are good people and another 30 percent are okay.

“Then you you have, I’d say, 10 to 15 to 20 percent who are truly bad people,” he said. “They’re dishonest, they’re horrible human beings.”

He recounted an answer he gave in a television interview where he was pressed on whether he would drop out of the race, and he said he would consider it if he tanked in the polls. He said reporters then reported that he was considering getting out of the race.

Mr. Trump’s first campaign finance spending report is due by the end of Thursday, and he said he has spent less than most of the other campaigns because he’s been so successful at harnessing free media.

“An interview’s better than a commercial, don’t we agree?” he said, then blasted his opponents for what he said was profligate spending by his opponents. “I look at some of these guys, they’ve spent tens of millions of dollars, they’re at 1 percent.”

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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