New Hampshire Union-Leader publisher Joe McQuaid has struck back at Donald TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Trump advisers face off over energy policy McMullin squares off with CNBC anchors over independent candidacy Conway: Trump 'incredibly gracious' to Clinton MORE after coming under attack from the GOP front-runner. McQuaid says Trump become hostile only after it became clear that the influential newspaper would not endorse him.
NH newspaper publisher punches back at Trump
McQuaid added that Trump had panned him surrounding a candidate forum the paper held in August before trying to win his endorsement.
"He wrote me a letter two days before the debate saying he was a great judge of business and his instinct was that I was not going to endorse him so he wasn't going to do my lousy event," McQuaid said on Monday's "MTP Daily" on MSNBC.
"Two days after the event, he sent me another letter, which I have in my coat pocket, in which he says, 'The debate was terrible, Bush was terrible, everybody said I was a genius not to do it, and oh, by the way, when you get around to it, would you please endorse me for president?'"
The publisher sparked a spat with Trump with a Monday front-page op-ed that panned Trump in part by likening him to Biff Tannen, the bully from the "Back to the Future" movies. Trump responded during an interview with Manchester's WMUR where he called New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) McQuaid's puppet because the publisher endorsed the New Jersey governor.
During his MSNBC interview, McQuaid went on to agree with host Steve Kornacki's suggestion that a divided establishment field in New Hampshire could split the vote and allow Trump to cruise to victory.
"There's are at least four serious contenders who would be much better presidential nominees. If this was a perfect world, I as the hand-puppet of one of them would tell the others to get out, but they won't do that until the New Hampshire primary," McQuaid said.
"Whoever doesn’t place in the top three, let's say, will read the writing on the wall and make a graceful exit because they know they’ve got to coalesce if they want to stop Mr. Trump."