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With Publisher Joe McQuaid looking on, Donald Trump greets employees at the New Hampshire Union Leader, including Ad Rep Pat McKerley, during a visit to the paper in March. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER FILE)

Trump calls Union Leader Publisher McQuaid 'lowlife' in TV interview


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joseph W. McQuaid traded barbs Monday, after a page one editorial in the state’s largest newspaper likened Trump to Biff Tannen, the villain in the “Back to the Future” movie trilogy.
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“He’s a real low-life, there’s no question about it,” Trump said about McQuaid, during an interview with WMUR-TV Political Director Josh McElveen ahead of an appearance Monday night in Nashua. 
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“Trump’s tirade is only surprising in that it took this long,” McQuaid said. “After our newspaper endorsed Gov. Christie, I expected the full-on 'Loser!' treatment in short order. Trump is a very dishonest man, and also terribly confused, on matters great and small. This is all typical Trump. He tries to bully people who question him or criticize him. He’s picked the wrong newspaper to try that trick.”
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In his interview with WMUR, Trump claims the editorial was McQuaid’s response to a decision the candidate made against attending last August’s Union Leader co-sponsored Voters First Forum, which Trump refers to as a “debate.”
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“Joe McQuaid wanted me to do his debate desperately,” Trump said. “He called me practically begging to do the debate. The debate turned out to be a total farce and a joke. Very few people attended. I was the only one that didn’t do the debate. I think I should get credit for vision because his debate was a joke. I knew when I didn’t do the debate he would take action against me.”
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“On the contrary, with 14 participants, I was just as happy that he passed,” McQuaid said. “When he did, he told me it was due to his instinct that we wouldn’t be endorsing him. For once, he was right. But the day after the forum, he wrote to ask me, “a man I have great respect for,” he said, “to endorse me.” Rather than us being upset about his non-attendance, I think he is clearly upset that we didn’t endorse him.”
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Trump criticized McQuaid’s handling of the newspaper during his interview with McElveen. He also said McQuaid asked him to play a round of golf, but he turned him down.

“I said, ‘I can’t play golf. It takes too long. I’m not going to be able to spend a whole day playing golf,’” said Trump. “He said, ‘How about lunch?’ Just recently we had lunch at his country club where he showed me around to everybody, to people that were friends of his. He’s just a bad guy. I knew that when I didn’t do the debate he would take action against me ... The paper is failing, he’s doing a terrible job.”
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“He says our newspaper is failing and I am ‘absolutely terrible,’ yet six months ago, in June, he said we were all ‘terrific,’” said McQuaid, referring to comments Trump made while answering a question at Manchester Community College on June 17. ‘The Union Leader is terrific,’ Trump said then. ‘The Union Leader, by the way, they’ve been so fair to me, and they are terrific, and Mr. McQuaid is a fantastic man.’
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“He says I invited him to lunch,” McQuaid said. “I have the email from his assistant in which he asks to have lunch with me. As for the location, my ‘country club’ is the municipal course in Manchester. Very nice, but not quite Trump’s Doral.”
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Chris Christie attack

Trump also took aim Monday at the candidate endorsed by the Union Leader, accusing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of putting McQuaid up to writing the editorial and attacking Christie’s record.
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“He’s the one that got McQuaid to do this, there’s no question in my mind,” Trump said. “The George Washington Bridge, it’s impossible to believe he didn’t know about it. His top aides knew about it, so if he didn’t know about it that’s very bad management, and if he did know about it, it’s a real problem, it’s a bigger problem.”
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Trump also claimed that McQuaid asked him to send a tweet on behalf of Christie prior to the Fox Business Network Republican debate in November.

“He asked me for a strange thing,” said Trump. “Could you do a tweet about Chris Christie, that he should be on the main stage?”
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McQuaid said in response: “As I did with other candidates, I suggested to Trump that he stand against the networks and RNC trying to ‘winnow the field’ before the New Hampshire voters get to vote. Here’s my email to his assistant: ‘Please tell your boss that while his past idea (to demand a donation to appear on a televised debate) was off; he could gain voter points in New Hampshire by telling Fox Business (and the world) that if it excludes Christie and Huckabee from Tuesday’s primetime affair, he ain’t dancing.’ Of course, Trump didn’t do that, but he did tweet that others should be included in that Fox Biz November debate.”
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pfeely@unionleader.com
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