DES MOINES, Iowa - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has responded to a Des Moines Register editorial calling for him to drop out of the race.
The editorial, published online Monday evening, said Trump "has polluted the political waters to such an extent that serious candidates who actually have the credentials to serve as president can't get their message across to voters. In fact, some of them can't even win a spot in one of the upcoming debates, since those slots are reserved for candidates leading in the polls."
Trump responded to the editorial in a statement released Tuesday morning.
"I am not at all surprised by the Des Moines Register's sophomoric editorial. It was issued immediately after the release of the ABC News/Washington Post poll showing me with 24% and an eleven-point lead over my nearest rival. As one of the most liberal newspapers in the United States, the poll results were just too much for them to bear. The Des Moines Register has lost much circulation, advertising, and power over the last number of years. They will do anything for a headline, and this poorly written "non-endorsement" got them some desperately needed ink.
On the campaign trail in Iowa, a state whose people I have truly gotten to know and love, I have been treated very badly by the Des Moines Register. They were uneven and inconsistent, but far more importantly, very dishonest. They would rarely write the facts or report what really took place. They never captured the energy of each event and it is a constant battle with them by my representatives to get an accurate count of the large crowds I draw. They know the very impressive numbers and either reduce them or don't report them at all. It is always wonderful to have the support of a newspaper, even a failing one, but this has only given me more motivation to fight harder in Iowa and Make America Great Again!"
The editorial was published following Trump's controversial remarks about Senator John McCain at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames on Saturday.
"“We refute any statements by Mr. Trump that our reporting has been inaccurate or dishonest. He called one of our editors three months ago with concerns about coverage of one of his appearances. Otherwise, his campaign has never contacted our staff with concerns about our reporting and has in fact complimented our coverage," Amalie Nash, The Register's editor and vice president for audience engagement, said in a statement to Channel 13 News. "We have covered his campaign extensively in Iowa, as we have with all of the candidates campaigning here, and we will continue to do so. Our editorial will have no bearing on our news coverage of Mr. Trump.”
Trump ignited a political furor with his weekend comments about Sen. John McCain’s war record, but the first polling released since then shows no change in his standing.
A Monmouth University poll of Iowans released Monday and conducted over the weekend showed Scott Walker continues to maintain a solid lead in the Iowa Republican caucus, though Trump has gained an edge over the rest of the field and now stands alone in second place.