GOP frontrunner Donald Trump used a New Hampshire interview to accuse the state’s leading conservative publisher of “colluding” with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The phone interview on WMUR, an ABC affiliate in Manchester, N.H., came after the New Hampshire Union Leader published a front-page editorial saying that Trump’s campaign is an “insult to the intelligence of New Hampshire voters.”
Trump pushed back hard. The newspaper’s publisher, Joe McQuaid, is a “lowlife,” Trump said. “Joe McQuaid is just [Christie’s] puppet,” he added.
“He called me practically begging to do the [newspaper’s campaign] debate,” Trump said of McQuaid. “The debate turned out to be a total farce and a joke,” adding, “very few people attended.”
“I knew when I didn’t do [his] debate, he would take action against me,” Trump stated. “The paper’s failing. He’s doing a terrible job.”
“He’s just a bad guy,” Trump added.
Trump said McQuaid had also asked him to boost Christie via Twitter. “He’s backing Chris Christie. It’s ridiculous to back Chris,” Trump said, noting that New Jersey is “the worst state in the union in terms of economics. His taxes are high.”
“The George Washington Bridge,” Trump charged of Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal, “It’s impossible to believe he didn’t know about it.”
“If he didn’t know about it, that’s very bad management” and if he did “it’s a bigger problem,” Trump added.
Trump said that when Christie warmly greeted President Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy, that “could have cost Romney the election.”
“I actually thought that Christie was going to vote for Obama based on that little episode,” Trump said.
McQuaid responded to Trump’s WMUR interview, saying, “I thought when we endorsed Governor Christie that Trump would lay us out like he lays out everyone who doesn’t agree with him 100 percent.”
“It is nonsense,” McQuaid said about his paper supposedly colluding with Christie’s campaign. “Anybody who knows the Union Leader knows we say what we believe and nobody tells us what to do, neither Governor Christie nor Donald Trump or anybody else.”
McQuaid added, “[Trump] has no business running for president of the United States.”