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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Donald Trump-ets his 'bloody' golf course


Happy New Year, you LOSERS!

Oh, sorry, I must have been channeling the Donald. Trump, that is. He says, in Tweets and tirades from his Trump Towering Inferno, that the Union Leader is dying, that I am trying to sell it, and that his comments (“terrible paper,’’ “lowlife’’ publisher) can’t be helping with the sale.
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Actually, we are selling the paper, every day of the week. And his comments have probably helped single-copy sales. But otherwise, his report of our death is more than exaggerated. Like much of what Trump is saying in this presidential campaign, it is a flat-out lie.
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He said I begged him to advertise with us, so he promoted his golf course. Actually, no. He apparently thought it might help him get the Union Leader’s endorsement, so he bought four full-page ads. He used the first three for his campaign before the bulb went off that the news media were giving him so much free time that to pay for it was crazy. So he used the last ad to promote his Miami golf course. I thought that was actually smart of him.
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He also has a golf course in Virginia where he had a plaque erected claiming that a big Civil War battle took place at the site. It was so terrible, the sign read, that the nearby waterway was called the “River of Blood.’’
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True? Nope. Local historians say no such battle ever took place there. Confronted with that, his response was classic Trump.

“How do they know?’’ he asked a reporter. “Were they there?’’

Trump called me one day with an idea. The first GOP TV debate had great ratings, he said, and CNN would be making millions off the next one because of him. So what did I think if he demanded $1 million to do the debate. He would, he quickly added, give the money to charity.
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To some national veterans group, he said, and “maybe something up your way.’’

I had visions of setting the Union Leader Santa Fund up for a lifetime annuity, but that would have been wrong.

I told him it wasn’t a good idea because, lest he hadn’t heard, the other Republican candidates and their party were not his biggest fans and they might use such a scheme as reason to disinvite him.
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He said he hadn’t thought of that. Good point, he told me. He later tried to run that up the flagpole with others but in the end he didn’t do it.

If Trump calls again, I have some more advice for him. But definitely not for printing in a family newspaper.
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Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@unionleader.com or on Twitter @deuce­crew.
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