Donald Trump may be a big promoter of saying "Merry Christmas," as opposed to more secular season's greetings, but the billionaire celebrity-turned-Republican presidential candidate is having a harder time when it comes to observing the season of peace on Earth and goodwill to men.
While many Americans are still in a holiday mood, Trump is locked in a multi-front war of words—with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, Republican rivals Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, a New Hampshire newspaper, and the Republican Party of Virginia.
It all comes as Trump is kicking off a busy week of campaign rallies, beginning Monday night in New Hampshire.
The night before, the New Hampshire Union Leader, which last month backed Christie's presidential bid, rolled out an unwelcome mat.
"An insult to the intelligence of Republican voters," wrote Joseph W. McQuaid, the newspaper's publisher in an op-ed published Sunday night. "Trump has shown himself to be a crude blowhard with no clear political philosophy and no deeper understanding of the important and serious role of President of the United States than one of the goons he lets rough up protesters in his crowds."
Trump quickly fired back, dubbing McQuaid "a lowlife" and the paper a "disaster." Moreover, Trump, in an interview scheduled to air later this afternoon on Manchester, New Hampshire, TV station WMUR, saw the New Jersey governor playing a role and said "Chris is behind this."
Meanwhile, Bush—who has been Trump's favorite target for most of the campaign—continued his recent efforts to bait the billionaire. At a campaign appearance in Florida Monday, Bush challenged Trump to a one-on-one debate.
"Donald, I’ll take you on one-on-one in the debate—any time, any place," Bush, a former Florida governor, told reporters in Palm Beach earlier Monday. Trump hasn't responded on that front. A spokesperson wasn't immediately available for comment.
And then there's Hillary Clinton. After the Democratic presidential front-runner responded to Trump's use of a Yiddish vulgarism against her by accusing the Republican presidential contender of "a penchant for sexism," Trump took to Twitter to accuse Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, of a "terrible record of women's abuse."
Over the weekend, Trump assailed the Republican Party of Virginia on his Twitter account, apparently over the party's decision, made a week ago, to require voters in the state's March 1 primary to sign a statement attesting that they are Republicans. Trump called the move "stupid."
The attacks and counter-attacks come as Trump continues to lead the pack in New Hampshire ahead of the state's Feb. 9 first-in-the-nation primary—the second presidential contest after Iowa's Feb. 1 caucuses. An American Research Group poll of New Hampshire Republican voters had Trump leading with 21 percent, followed by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida with 15 percent and Governor John Kasich of Ohio with 13 percent.
"Trump's lead in New Hampshire is real and people who don't take it seriously are fooling themselves," said Republican strategist Ryan Williams. "But Granite State voters tend to break late. There is always a chance that moderate Republicans and independents could coalesce behind a reasonable candidate in the final two weeks."