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Iowa paper: Trump a ‘feckless blowhard’ who should end presidential campaign

The Fix's Chris Cillizza on why it was a bad move for Trump. (Video: Julie Percha/The Washington Post)
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An influential newspaper in Iowa is calling for Donald Trump to exit the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

In an editorial published late Monday, The Des Moines Register called for an end to Donald Trump’s “bloviating side show” of a presidential campaign. The paper cites Trump’s antics, ranging from his “attempts to demonize immigrants” to his recent comments criticizing Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The Iowa caucuses, scheduled for February 2016, will be the first real test of strength for Republican presidential aspirants.

[What Donald Trump was up to while John McCain was a prisoner of war]

“Trump has proven himself not only unfit to hold office, but unfit to stand on the same stage as his Republican opponents,” the paper wrote.

The editorial comes two days after Trump’s remarks in Iowa, where he disagreed with calling McCain a war hero “because he was captured.”

“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said sarcastically. “I like people that weren’t captured.”

[Trump belittles McCain’s war service, sparking stern Republican backlash]

McCain has since asked Trump to apologize to military families “of those who have sacrificed in conflict and those who have undergone the prison experience in serving their country.”

Citing his five years in captivity as a prisoner of war during Vietnam and his refusal of early release until all other POWs captured before him were also released, the Iowa paper called McCain “an American hero.” Trump, the paper pointed out, “didn’t serve in the military, partly because, as he puts it, he was ‘not a big fan of the Vietnam War.’”

But the paper’s editorial didn’t stop there.

Trump has become “‘the distraction with traction — a feckless blowhard who can generate headlines, name recognition and polling numbers not by provoking thought, but by provoking outrage,” the paper wrote.

“The best way Donald Trump can serve his country is by apologizing to McCain and terminating this ill-conceived campaign,” the editorial concluded.

More about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign:

Trump surges to big lead in GOP presidential race

Eugene Robinson: Attacking Trump only seems to make him stronger

Post Editorial: How Trump’s reprehensible comments could improve Washington

Dan Balz: Trump’s attack on  McCain marks a turning point for him — and the GOP