By Amy Tennery
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the New York Daily News are not clowning around.
Trump fired back on Twitter on Wednesday against the New York Daily News, after the tabloid published a photo of Trump edited to make him appear similar to “The Joker,” a clown-like villain from the Batman comic series.
“Dopey Mort Zuckerman, owner of the worthless @NYDailyNews, has a major inferiority complex. Paper will close soon!” Trump (@realDonaldTrump) tweeted Wednesday.
The front page headline jeered at New Hampshire voters for handing the Republican presidential candidate a win in the state’s primary election, calling the vote “dawn of the brain dead,” an apparent reference to the zombie horror movie “Dawn of the Dead.”
Trump won the New Hampshire primary by almost 20 points Tuesday night, after finishing second in last week's Iowa caucus. He has been the most popular candidate on social media throughout the campaign, regularly outpacing his competitors in social media buzz during debates.
Wednesday's online quarrel is hardly the first time that the tabloid paper and the tenacious tycoon have clashed. From his politics to his questionable coif, Trump has long been a target of the Daily News.
On June 17, the paper reported that Trump was running for president with the front-page headline "Clown Runs for Prez." The headline was accompanied by a photo of Trump that had been edited to depict him as a clown, complete with a red nose.
That same day, Trump tweeted a retort.
"Only a fool would buy the @NYDailyNews. Loses fortune & has zero gravitas," Trump wrote. "Let it die!"
Trump also came under fire from some Twitter users Tuesday night, as the former reality TV star gained momentum in the Granite State.
The hashtag #TrumpRunningMate emerged on the social media site, and Twitter users cracked wise about who - or what - would join Trump's ticket, if he were to win the Republican presidential nomination.
"Heavily over-salted takeout that gives you two day bloat. #TrumpRunningMate," tweeted Fledgeling Feminist (@fledgelingfem).
"#TrumpRunningMate Kanye, and then Kim for State," tweeted Ross Burnett (@rossburnett) on Tuesday evening.
(Reporting By Amy Tennery; Editing by Marguerita Choy)