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In Nashua appearance, Trump blasts Union Leader, rivals

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 28. 2015 8:43PM
Donald Trump speaks to a packed gymnasium at Pennichuck Middle School Monday night. (DAN TUOHY/Twitter: @tuohy)
For the first time the New Hampshire Union Leader's quadrennial Voters First Primary Edition on Friday, Feb. 5 will feature a page of classifieds to provide anyone an affordable platform to promote their point of view or candidate. This collectible premium edition of the New Hampshire Union Leader will be published the Friday before the vote on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Online, a linkable version of the classified begins running within 24-hours of submission with primary content matching the mentioned candidates.

NASHUA — Donald Trump lashed out at the New Hampshire Union Leader at length Monday, accusing the state’s largest newspaper of being New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s "lap dog."

The Republican presidential hopeful was fired up, and sounded almost hurt at times, in reaction to a front-page editorial in Monday's edition condemning his candidacy.

The real estate mogul responded with a stem-winder that saw him blasting Union Leader Publisher Joseph W. McQuaid and the newspaper for endorsing Christie for President.

"You have a very dishonest newspaper up here. It’s also a failing newspaper. It’s going down the tubes. I remember when this was the big newspaper. Look at the size of this," said Trump, holding up a copy of the Union Leader. "If they cut it down any more, you won’t be able to find it."

Trump spoke at length about McQuaid — one riff going on for more than 10 minutes — in an hour-long rally at Pennichuck Middle School in Nashua. He claimed the publisher asked him for a favor: to Tweet to his 5 million followers on Twitter that Christie should be on the prime-time debate stage. Trump said he did it, realizing that Christie might win the endorsement.

Trump also claimed McQuaid asked him for favors. He said he was asked to give a speech in New Hampshire and was later invited to play a round of golf with McQuaid at "his country club," the Derryfield Country Club, a municipally owned golf course in Manchester. The candidate said he declined because he was busy running for President.

"I’ve watched this guy and, honestly, he’s a loser," Trump said.

This is not the first time Trump’s been upset at the Union Leader. In July the newspaper’s editorial page editor wrote a scathing editorial column after Trump mocked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as a war hero because he had been captured after his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War.

"He’s a war hero because he was captured," Trump said at the Iowa Family Leadership Summit. "I like people that weren’t captured."

After the July controversy, Trump declined to participate in the Union Leader co-sponsored "Voters First" presidential forum Aug. 3 at Saint Anselm College. He was the only Republican candidate who declined to participate.

In Nashua on Monday night, Trump reserved some digs for Jeb Bush and for Christie, as well. He mocked Bush for spending lavishly on his campaign and still trailing him in the polls.

Trump questioned how Christie, as New Jersey governor, could not have known about the 2013 closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge, reported as political retribution because a mayor did not endorse his re-election bid. Christie has said he knew nothing of the lane closures, and that those responsible would be held accountable.

Trump has plenty of history bashing the media, which he has called "scum." He rained criticism down upon the press corps at large.

"They’re very dishonest people," he said. "They’re very bad people. Some are fine, but really for the most part, they’re really sleaze bags."

Trump urged people to get out and vote in the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9 so that he can go on to win the presidency.

He received cheers when he promised to crack down on illegal immigration, build a wall along the border with Mexico, and defeat the Islamic State terrorism.

"ISIS — oh, we’re going to knock the hell out of them," Trump said.

He heard loud applause when he spoke of doing away with Common Core educational requirements and promising to defend the Second Amendment.

Trump said he would preserve New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, if he is elected.

Trump also criticized Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. "Hillary wants to take your guns," he said.

A man yelled out, "Come and get ’em."

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