Donald Trump’s pissing match with the publisher of New Hampshire’s biggest newspaper continues, leaving little doubt as to who has the bigger bladder. The Republican front-runner got the New Hampshire Union Leader, which previously published a scathing editorial attacking him, removed from the group of sponsors for the upcoming debate, set to take place at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH on February 6.
In a series of tweets, Trump publicly demanded that ABC News, which is hosting the debate, give the Union Leader the boot over its “unethical” actions. Publisher Joseph McQuaid has endorsed Chris Christie for the GOP candidacy, while calling the real-estate tycoon’s campaign an insult to the intelligence of voters.
Trump fired back in a speech and interviews, accusing McQuaid of corruption and inconsistency, as well as denigrating his stewardship of the newspaper, which he called a “pile of garbage.”
ABC News vice president Robin Sproul told the newspaper in an email that the decision was taken to ensure the debate was “not biased in favor of or against anyone on the debate stage.” Trump tweeted: “I am pleased to announce that I had the Union Leader removed from the upcoming debate.”
For his part, McQuaid stated: “We are amused by ABC News apparently just discovering that we endorse candidates and write editorials. We have been doing both for many years, and it has never been a problem with ABC or other debate sponsors. We consider ABC's actions to be spineless.
"Between bowing to the DNC and Trump, ABC is more concerned about appeasing the parties and candidates than informing voters. The Union Leader will continue to serve Granite Staters by being a reliable source of information about where candidates stand.”
The New Hampshire Republican Party also criticized the decision, with chairman Jennifer Horn stating: “The Union Leader has established itself as a trusted news source that, for decades, has sponsored some of New Hampshire’s biggest political debates. It is disappointing that a national media outlet would exclude New Hampshire's only statewide newspaper, given the important role the Union Leader plays in covering our First in the Nation primary.”