Washington (CNN)Donald Trump on Tuesday punched back after the Des Moines Register's editorial board, which called on him to drop out of the presidential race.
Donald Trump slams 'sophomoric' Des Moines Register editorial
Trump slammed the newspaper -- which called Trump a "feckless blowhard" in a piece published Monday -- for what he deemed a "sophomoric editorial" and insisted that he had "been treated very badly" by the paper in the past.
"As one of the most liberal newspapers in the United States, the poll results were just too much for them to bear," Trump said Tuesday in a statement, pointing to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday that put him at the top of the Republican field nationwide with 24%.
The Des Moines Register's stance came amid ongoing and widespread criticism of Trump's remarks on Saturday in which he questioned Sen. John McCain's status as a war hero. GOP presidential candidates have slammed Trump for the remarks about McCain, who endured more than five years of torture in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton."
"The best way Donald Trump can serve his country is by apologizing to (Arizona Sen. John) McCain and terminating this ill-conceived campaign," the editorial said.
The editorial board of Iowa's leading newspaper also slammed Trump as unqualified and unfit to serve as president.
"People who run for public office typically perform a great public service, regardless of whether they win on Election Day," the paper's editorial board wrote. "That's particularly true of presidential candidates, most of whom must devote two years of their lives to hard-fought campaigns that involve staggering personal and financial sacrifices, all in an effort to serve their country. And then there's Trump."
Trump said in his statement Tuesday that he was "not at all surprised" by the editorial and charged that the newspaper has been "uneven and inconsistent, but far more importantly, very dishonest" in its coverage of his campaign.
Newspapers' editorial and news divisions are strictly independent of each other.
He added that he has been "treated very badly" by the newspaper, calling the paper "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," Trump said. "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!"