ABC Cuts Union Leader Out of GOP Debate; McQuaid Calls Decision 'Spineless'
ABC News announced Sunday that it has cut its partnership with the New Hampshire Union Leader for the Republican primary debate to be held in Manchester just days before Granite State voters go to the polls.
An ABC executive said the Union Leader’s endorsement of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the GOP primary, coupled with the paper’s ongoing spat with Trump, led them to drop the paper from the Feb. 6 debate.
The paper has criticized Trump through a series of front page columns and editorials in recent weeks.
Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid criticized ABC’s decision, saying it should be no surprise the paper has endorsed a candidate in the race, something it has been doing for years.
“We consider ABC’s actions to be spineless,” McQuaid said. “Between bowing to the DNC and Trump, ABC is more concerned about appeasing the parties and candidates than informing voters. The Union Leader will continue to serve Granite Staters be being a reliable source of information about where candidates stand.”
The New Hampshire Democratic Party also criticized the decision.
“This ridiculous attack on New Hampshire’s statewide newspaper threatens the traditions of our First-in-the-Nation primary and makes it clear that the New Hampshire Republican Party has now fully embraced Donald Trump as their frontrunner," said NHDP chairman Ray Buckley. "The state's Senator Kelly Ayotte should denounce her party’s actions to undermine our state’s primary status.”
This comes after ABC pulled WMUR's partnership status from last month's Democratic debate over a prolonged labor dispute at the station.
WMUR is set to participate in next month's GOP debate.