- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 27, 2016

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Sunday that, if elected, he would refrain from hurling insults at foreign leaders or domestic critics on social media, the so-called “Twitter wars” he has launched against campaign rivals.

“It’s a great way of communicating as far as I’m concerned, but I’m not going to be doing it very much as president,” Mr. Trump said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I will act in the best interests of our country. I will act to protect our country, whether that’s counter-punching or not.”

Mr. Trump has been criticized for lowering the tenor of campaign discourse by ripping into his opponents on social media. But he contends that he is only “counter-punching,” or responding in kind to attacks leveled against him.

Nevertheless, his campaign has broken new ground with the use of social media in political campaign, bypassing tradition new outlets and communicating directly to his approximately 16 million followers on Twitter and Instagram.

His tweets have then taken over the news cycle and dominated coverage by traditional news outlets.

“It’s a new way of communicating. It’s very effective. I’ve been very effective with it,” said Mr. Trump.

He vowed that as president he would be more concerned with protecting the country than responding to detractors on Twitter.

“Our country’s going to be protected not like it is now, where we have nobody at the helm, where we have nobody protecting the interests of our country, where we’re being ripped off by every single nation in the world and we can’t even beat ISIS at war,” said Mr. Trump.

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